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THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 

GIFT OF 

Mrs. Jane Thompson 



ROSE AND VINE 



BY 



RACHEL ANNAND TAYLOR 




LONDON 

ELKIN MATHEWS, VIGO STREET 
M CM X 



Second Edition, April, 




CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Music OF RESURRECTION i 

THE ROMAN ROAD 3 

FOUR CRIMSON VIOLERS 5 

THE RACE 8 

ERISKAY 10 

"GOD I SHALL NEVER SEE" 13 

AGE INTERCEDES FOR YOUTH 14 

THE WEDDING OF THE REDEEMED PRINCESS . . . . 16 

A LENTEN SONG 18 

THE GUARDIAN ANGELS 19 

BURIED TREASURE . .20 

THE CHILD OF JOY 22 

AT THE BRIDAL DOOR 24 

AT LAST 25 

BIRTH-SONG 26 

THE QUESTION 27 

RECLAIMED 28 

LAMENTATION FOR PERISHED BEAUTY . . . 29 

SAINT Lois 31 

THE HIGH GESTE 33 

THE DIFFERENCE 35 

THE FEAR OF THE ARTIST 36 

HARVEST SONG . 37 

SONG OF FRUITION 38 

THE CAITIFF PRINCE 40 

THE REGAL-PLAYING ANGEL , 43 

THE WOMEN AT THB SEPULCHRE 44 

THE MEDITATION OF YOUTH 45 

THE MEDITATION OF AGE. . . - - . . . 47 

THE HEAVENLY LOVE is DISCONTENTED WITH HIS LUTE . 49 

THE PAGES (RENAISSANCE) 50 

THE CROSS 52 

T 



: 



VI CONTENTS 

PAGE 

THE SWINEHERD SOLILOQUISES 53 

IN THE FIELDS OF LOVE 55 

THE BODY 56 

THE PILGRIM AND THE REVELLER 57 

THE QUIETIST 59 

IMPRESSION OF AUTUMN 60 

THE MONK AND THE ANGELS 62 

TWILIGHT LOVE 66 

MATURITY 67 

LOVE'S DOUBTER 68 

TRANSFIGURATION 69 

"TURN NOT THINE HEAD" 72 

A CONCLUSION 73 

HADES 74 

BY THE SEA 75 

THE LUDOVISI VENUS 76 

A GARDEN SONG 77 

A NOVEMBER LAMENT 79 

MAY-MUSIC 80 

PARISINA TO UGO D'ESTE 82 

PEACE 84 

THE JOYS OF ART 85 

MORNING Music AT THE TOMB 86 

INVITATION TO THE ROAD 89 

DREAMS OF NIGHT go 

ON THE WOLD gi 

A SOUL LAMENTS THE DECAY OF HER BODY g2 

THE HERALDS 94 

THE DOUBLES g5 

THE BEAUTY OF EARTH, 1 96 

,, .1 II 97 

THE MOTHER DESIRES THE JOY OF HER CHILDREN . . 98 

THE SUNSET OF DESPAIR 101 

DEATH'S SERENADE TO YOUTH 102 

THE LIFE-TREE 104 

THE STIGMATA 105 

THE WANDERING DANCER 106 

" NOR GOOD NOR EVIL " 1 108 

II log 



CONTENTS Vil 

PAOB 

A MEDLEY OF KINGS no 

THF END 112 

HOLLYHOCKS 113 

THE YOUNG MARTYRS 115 

MIDNIGHT 116 

RECALLED 117 

THE DEAD HEART iig 

HYPNOSIS I. THE PHYSICIAN OF SOULS 123 

II. THE TRANCE (FROM WITHIN) . . . .125 

A VISION FROM PERGOLESI 127 

THE DEAD ACOLYTE 128 

" WHEN TOO TOO SOON " 129 

THE UNKNOWN SWORD-MAKER 130 

SPOIL 131 

DIADUMENOS 132 

THE BODILY BEAUTY OF THE BELOVED 133 

ECSTASY 134 

To THE LOST LOVER 135 

THE APPEAL OF THE LORD JOYEUSE 136 

THE GOLDEN EARL AND THE WISEWOMAN .... 138 

BLOSSOM TIME 141 

A TRIUMPH-SONG 142 

RESTRAINT 143 

THE UNICORNS . 144 

RISPETTO 145 

DIRGE FOR NARCISSUS (NEO-PLATONIC) 146 

THE PHCENIX 148 

THE FORECAST 149 

THE TREE OF LIFE 150 

THE DRYAD 15! 

THE MASQUE OF PROTEUS 153 

THE HOUR OF CONFESSION 154 



EMBALMED 



155 



THE LUTEPLAYER 156 



THE MAGI 



157 



THE VISIONS 159 

A HEAVENLY AMBITION 161 

THE APPEAL TO THE ARTIST 162 



MUSIC OF RESURRECTION 

There shall no blare of heavenly trumpets end 

The long, long lapses of Oblividn : 
No brazen tongues like flaming swords must rend 

The veils of darkness, that the Dead put on 

In one wild pang remembrance long foregone : 
Nor shall the slim white dancing-angels crowd 

With silver bells and tabors, for that bright 
Reveille-music would be far too loud 

For who have lain within the unechoing night. 

Blotted away from anguish and delight : 
But, underneath the great green tender Morn, 

From the sole Star of Rising shall begin 
A tone most faint and fine, as it were born 

Of the last note that thrills a violin : 

Like dew, like dew the sound shall pearl within 
The dusty heart, and subtly breathe away 

The dim disgrace that in the bosom lies, 
Loose from the ears the heavy seal of clay, 

And dream like light against the ruined eyes, 

And move the soul to a soft stir of sighs : 
Yea, still the clear far-dwelling note shall grow, 

Till, as the jade-green Dayspring turns to gold, 
Shall Sleep dissolve in waking, and we know 

B 1 



5 MUSIC OF RESURRECTION 

Only a strange immortal sense could hold 

Such immaterial music : as of old 
In earthly years, and mornings unafraid, 

(The languors of that far-off Evensong 
Swathing us yet) white poppies of the shade, 

"We shall flower upward from the slumber long 

That heals a Day of heavy toil and wrong. 



THE ROMAN ROAD 

Bury me close to the Roman Road, 

That the pageant passing by 
May trumpet through my dim abode, 

And make it less to die. 

To my House of Stone let the rumour run 

Of the ringing reins of old, 
Of horsemen riding in the sun 

Through worlds of windy gold. 

A pomp of princes, side by side, 

The proud Crusaders go, 
And now the Free Companions ride, 

Glittering row on row. 

And slim white girls with burning hair 
Dance with the wind ; and in 

Great ropes of roses red they snare 
A gleaming paladin. 

O singing East ! O dreaming "West ! 

Ride, ride so splendidly 
To the City that is loveliest, 

That never a soul shall see. 

3 



THE ROMAN ROAD 

I will not lie in a green abode 

Away from the hurrying feet. 
I have ridden for long on the Roman Road 

And still is the riding sweet. 



FOUR CRIMSON VIOLERS 



Four crimson Violers, 
Two at the foot and two at the head, 
They made sweet sound by the Duchess' bed, 
(The fair white-silken bed of state, 
Silver swans in the broidery !) 
"While the husht glad folk passed in to see 
The dreaming Duchess delicate, 

And that small son of hers. 
Four crimson Violers ! 

(Ah, sleep, sleep ! 

Woundless and pure as a moonbeam goes, 
Thou hast won through the thorns and found thy 
rose, 

A milk white rose to keep ! 

Now sleep, sleep !) 

II 

Four crimson Violers 
Played sweet airs in the Duchess' room 
As she lay like a saint on a carven tomb. 

5 



6 FOUR CRIMSON VIOLERS 

Her gilded whorling hair about 
Her beauty triumphed at its will, 
In the crook of her arm the babe lay still. 
Responses faint from her soul rang out 
Like chimes of dulcimers 
To the crimson Violers. 

(Ah, sleep, sleep ! 

Strange sorrows Love hath led thee through 
But the flames by thy feet all died in dew. 

The crypts of pain were deep , 

Yet mild as sleep.) 

Ill 

Four crimson Violers, 
Silver swans on the ruddy breasts, 
With faery falls and wistful rests 
Did their secret hearts disclose. 

Their eyes were wells of mandragore, 
Heavy as vines the locks of the Four. 
Exceeding sweet that music rose, 

A spice of burning myrrhs. 
Four crimson Violers. 

(Love, Death, Sleep 

And the Dream-god charmed her soul away. 
Olden, olden gods are they ; 

Beautiful souls they reap. 

Sleep, now sleep.) 



FOUR CRIMSON VIOLERS 

IV 

Four crimson Violers, 
Two at her feet and two at her head, 
Made sweet sound by the Duchess dead. 
Oh ! She was rare as an almond-tree 
Foaming in flower from a tripod of gold, 
Whose odours drift through courts of old 
Cedar and red-rose porphyry. 

But these were her garlanders, 
Four crimson Violers. 

(Ah, sleep, sleep ! 

The gods of beauty crave in the Spring 
From out the world's white flowering 

Some delicate thing to keep. 

Sleep, Sweet, sleep !) 



THE RACE 



When we began to run the race 
The fairest sons of speed and grace 
Right suddenly threw out their hands, 
And smote their brows upon the sands. 
They slumber where they fell that day, 
Still for the early dead I pray. 
(Now seize the palm who hath the lust. 

Whatever triumph-song be sung, 
The sweetest eyes are filled with dust, 

The swiftest feet unstrung.} 

II 

On other souls a folly came 
Like fraud and violence and shame. 
Then, swiftly ringing them about, 
The angry Rivals cast them out , 
To sit and beg the race-course by. 
Alas for them that could not die ! 

(Go up, go up, ye fierce and proud, 
Whom madness never overthrew : 

But they that sit with heads down bowed 
Had not haughtier hearts than you.} 

8 



THE RACE 
III 

And some have slackened dreamily, 
Gardens enclosed where lilies be, 
Imagining. Through dust and heat 
How the pure wells of love are sweet 
They knew, and softly passed aside. 
They passed, and they were satisfied. 

(Hark, when the racers' King is crowned 
The long huzzas ! But richer far 

The passional Porch-verse will sound 
Beneath Love's marridge-star.) 

IV 

O victors, when the garlands bind 
Your beating brows then shall you find 
A mortal languor in the Cup, 
The Cup of Honour lifted up ? 
And shall they tire the very soul, 
Those silver trumpets of the Goal ? 

(" Is this the glory ? " shall you say. 
11 Vanity of Vanities 

For which we bled our hearts away ! 
Where is the perfect Peace ? ") 



ERISKAY 

[To Andrevuola.] 
I 

When Evening walks upon the whist 
Waters of jade and amethyst, 
Garlands of dancing angels go 
Around the purple isle I know. 
The rainbows leap, the white birds fly 
Across the trembling pale-gold sky ; 
And strange soft sunset-cloths are hung 
Round the Bride-chamber of the Young, 
The Pageant-floor of Night and Day, 
The splendid Isle of Eriskay ! 

II 

By twining dreaming paths I pass 
Through iris-meads and faded grass, 
To that sad Lake of Lilies where 
"Wild myrtle thrills the virgin air. 
Then, through the Hebridean eve, 
"With gilded arms and broidered sleeve 
A Dream like some sweet pilgrim-knight 
Comes riding on a charger white, 
A Dream from Provence far astray, 
Fantastic Isle of Eriskay ! 

10 



BRISK AY 11 

III 

Yet there the winds are wakened 
To whirl the Hosting of the Dead, 
And there the Hills against the Heaven 
That Burthen of the Sorrows seven 
Uplift for ever, the august 
Immortal pain of mortal dust, 
The dumb accusing agony 
Of Life before Eternity, 
Sad Patmos of the twilight grey, 
Thou dim dread Isle of Eriskay ! 

IV 

Nay ! Peace ! For I remember still 
The cots that to the barren hill 
As lichen clave, the courteous folk 
"With crystal eyes where wonder woke, 
The sad young dead with folded hands 
That sleep amid the drifted sands, 
The boats that softly homing glide 
Through the great light of eventide, 
The Chapel where white spirits pray, 
O tender Isle of Eriskay ! 

V 

Ave, Ave, Eriskay ! 
"Where naked Love his burning way 
Takes o'er the sands, (great stars above 
The head and 'neath the feet of Love !) 



12 ERISKAY 

Where Pain has beautiful calm eyes, 
And Joy is delicate and wise 
And pure as Pain, and where Death is 
Lovely like mourning melodies. 
Arise, tired heart, and come away 
To Eriskay, to Eriskay ! 



"GOD I SHALL NEVER SEE" 

God I shall never see, though all my heart 

For ever aches, desiring God to see. 
Not for mine eyes, alas ! the radiant part 

Of them that pierce to His Eternity 
Through all the jewel-dropping veils of things, 

The shifting arras-cloths of day and night, 
Stained with red lotos and chimaera wings, 

Strange dancing muses, thyrsus-bearers white. 
I chase vain shapes and colours as a child 

That would the splendid psyche-moths ensnare 
Till Twilight find me in some rocky wild, 

The dews of sorrow heavy in mine hair, 
Clasping a little dust of purple dyes, 
With darkness sealing up mine empty eyes. 



13 



AGE INTERCEDES FOR YOUTH 



For Youth, who goes to "War 

"With winds of April blowing 
Through his unvisored golden hair, 
"With reckless golden head all bare, 

And all his banners flowing, 
For Youth, for Youth who rides afar 
In silver armour fair to see, 
"With joints of gold at arm and knee, 
Rose-broidered prince of chivalry, 
Arrogant, wistful, beautiful, 

Youth, the Pure Fool, 
"We who are old, hard, winter-bitten, grey, 
Yet rode crusading once upon a day, 
We pray to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
" let him win the battle that we lost ". 

II 

For Youth, who comes from War, 

Borne heavily, forsaken, 
A bitter wound above the heart, 
A horror in the tender heart, 

And all his banners taken, 

14 



AGE INTERCEDES FOR YOUTH 15 

For Youth, for Youth brought from afar, 
His golden beauty soiled with dust, 
His silver armour black with rust, 
Despoiled of valour, pride, and trust, 

For Youth who sees with pangs extreme 
His routed dream, 

"We that are dust, yet once were dew and flame, 

Pray : " Let him linger not, like us, in shame. 
Before these pangs corrupt, bury Youth 
In some white tomb with music and with ruth." 



THE WEDDING OF THE REDEEMED 
PRINCESS 

Cast wide, cast wide the brazen gates 

To let the Wedding Pomp ride through. 
The Priest in the cathedral waits 

Amid the scarlet, gold and blue, 
In the cathedral, pierced and fine, 
Fantastic as a jewel shrine ! 
Cast wide the blazing gates with trumpet-din ;, 
The rainbow river of the gems flows in. 

Her robes are all of beryl-green, 

"Wrought o'er with mighty vines of gold j, 
Her crown is emeralds between 

Moon-pearls ; and like a crescent cold, 
And strange, and white, with trancen eyes 
On her bright litter still she lies 
Amid her great soft fleece of yellow hair, 
While he rides mailed and terrible and fair. 

The daisies marry with the dew, 

And Hesper finds the sunset's breast. 
Oh ! let the Wedding Pomp ride through. 

Against the arras of the West 
The trumpets and the lances all 
Are levelled long, are standing tall. 
They two, remote, ethereal as dreams, 
Are wounded sore with pain's, delight's extremes. 

16 



THE WEDDING OF THE REDEEMED PRINCESS 17 

So bring them to the cedarn room, 
And let the Dark their angel be 
To hang the jasper-coloured gloom 

Around the couch of ivory. 
Oh ! quench the tapers, hush the flutes ; 
Like roses let them strike their roots 
Within the Night of dim-blown stars and spice, 
For they are folded safe in paradise. 



A LENTEN SONG 

Dim rings of flame my temples crown, 

Yet darkness brims the eyes : 
The long Fast weighs the eyelids down 

And wastes the soul in sighs. 
Ashes for jewels in the hair, 

Sackcloth for cloth-of-gold, 
For masquing-mirth the black despair 

Of carnival grown cold ! 
Plunge, plunge, ye senses, in the chill 

And bitter pools of Death ! 
Break, Heart ! Proud Will, of thine own will, 

Be crucified on Faith ! 
How else may ye be pure enough 

To wear the roses white, 
To bear the balsamums of love 

Through gardens drowned in light, 
"When all the veils of pain are torn 
Before the peace of Easter Morn ? 



18 



THE GUARDIAN ANGELS 

Four Angels by my bed, 
Crowned with roses on the head ! 

Yet, carved ivory and gold, 

Oft they seem like gods of old, 
Hermes with his charming-rod, 
Dionysos, rare dream-god, 

Lord Apollo violing, 

Sad fair Eros hearkening, 
Chained together with a vine, 
Pouring ecstasy like wine, 

"Waving music down my sleep. 

Then the change ! And, lo ! there keep 

Four Angels by my bed, 
Crowned with roses on the head, 

Plumed with jade and jasper flame : 

But their eyes are still the same. 



19 



BURIED TREASURE 

[NOTE. Tradition holds that much artistic treasure still lies in th< 
bed of the Tiber, including the Lychnuchus of the Jewisl 
Temple, brought to Rome by Titus.] 

Deep underneath the yellow slime, 

Where Tiber-tide runs thick, 
Lies plunder of a sumptuous time, 
Bronze, marble, ivory and gem, 
And there thy torch, Jerusalem, 

The Seven-branched Candlestick ! 

"Within the soul's proud city, we 
Great trophies bear when young : 

For dreams, desires, bright legions be 

All fair strange images to bring : 

From God's own House they, triumphing, 
The Holy Torch have wrung. 

But Time's grim leaguers sap and creep 

Round dome and basilic. 
So, River of Oblivion, keep 
Our beautiful strange images, 
Our spiritual spoil, no less 

The Seven-branched Candlestick ! 

20 



BURIED TREASURE 21 

If Time will take us captive yet 

Our splendours we can save. 
Better that we should quite forget 
The flashing joys we once possessed, 
Than He should break them into jest, 

While at his mill we slave. 

So, River of Oblivion, sweep 

Thy waters cold and thick. 
For more enduring victors keep 
Our spoil of spiritual wars, 
Keep that which flames with seven stars, 

The Seven-branched Candlestick ! 



THE CHILD OF JOY 

In purple chambers I was born, 
And reared in Ivory Towers, 

The azure moths upon me fell, 
Singing in jasmine bowers : 

With dust-of-gold they powdered me 
And wed me with the flowers. 

Soft airs uplift my waving hair, 
Blue shadows bathe mine eyes. 

In the low music of my breast 
Lie dreams of paradise, 

As deep within the eglantine 
The well of honey lies. 

My senses five are five great Cups 
"WTierefrom I drink delight ! 

For them to God a grace I sing 
At morning and at night, 

For five fair loving-cups are they 
That feed me with delight. 

And lovers love me like the flowers. 

But perishing as they 
Am I whose five enchanted Cups 

Must yet return to clay. 
Ah ! Sweeter far than mine the dust 

Of lavender blue-grey ! 



THE CHILD OF JOY 23 

But shall not some faint flowery ghost 

Go down the Wind at least ? 
Lover of the splendid nards 

And lilies of the East, 
Bridegroom, hast thou need of me 

To deck thy bridal-feast ? 



AT THE BRIDAL DOOR 

One great King-angel by the gilded Door 
Sits with bowed head asleep. About his hair, 
Twined into ropes of gold, there cleaves a fair 

Garland of pallid roses, keen with store 

Of thorns. The tender mouth smiles evermore 
"With mystery of peace ; the unaware 
Tired hands lie folded on his robes of vair, 

With pomegranates and burning doves wrought o'er. 

For once he was a Pagan power, and came 
With dancing feet and perfume-tossing torch 
And wild faun eyes unto the bridal-porch, 

Until a mightier love upon him fell, 

And smote a sad sweet soul in him like flame. 

So let him sleep. He keeps the bride-door well. 



24 



AT LAST 

When all thy serenades are sung, 
And all thy gay novelles are told, 

When all thy roses red are flung, 
And all thy loves are woxen cold, 

When all the tapers honey-white 

Have failed the Masquer of Delight : 

Then like a bedesman come assay 
The carven Door of Misericorde. 

Pass down the long grey aisle to pray 
Largesse from thy forgotten Lord. 

Wide are the great Cathedral gates, 

And high upon the Cross He waits. 

Where scarlet is the light and blue, 
And all the peace is love and death, 

Come, prodigal, and never rue 

Thy portion spent. The sobbing breath, 

The empty hands, the broken heart, 

These be His own, His chosen part. 



25 



BIRTH-SONG 



Under the golden apple-boughs, 

Mid white and scarlet moths, 
She wrought great fruits and cherubim 

Upon the bearing-cloths, 
Singing : " Thy story is begun 
"With splendid things, my little Son ". 

II 

Oh ! be the scarlet curtains drawn 

Around the golden bed ; 
And wrap the babe in the bearing-cloths 

All broidered by the Dead. 
Yea ! Splendid things were spent for him : 
Death's incense makes the chamber dim. 

(Low ! Low ! Hush the babe so ! 

Like strange white moths moves down the snow. 

Listen! the sound of falling tears! 

Low ! Low ! Hush the babe so ! 

Sighing, sighing, 

For his crying 

Is hate and horror in Love's ears.) 



26 



THE QUESTION 

I saw the Son of God go by 

Crowned with the crown of Thorn. 
" Was It not finished, Lord ? " I said, 

" And all the anguish borne ? " 

He turned on me His awful eyes : 
" Hast thou not understood ? 

Lo ! Every soul is Calvary, 
And every sin a Rood." 



27 



RECLAIMED 

My heart went hawking 

In days of old 
Through airs of azure 

And winds of gold. 
Haggard and splendid, 
I struck, I rended. 
My heart went hawking 

Through worlds of gold. 

But Time entoiled me 

At last, at last : 
My wild eyes seeling 

He held me fast. 
The dark reclaimed me, 
The jesses tamed me, 
For Time entoiled me, 

And held me fast. 

A hooded falcon, 
Upon God's wrist 

Now cling I, brooding. 
O sun and mist, 

skies of wonder, 
Not mine the plunder ! 

1 am a falcon 
Upon God's wrist. 

28 



LAMENTATION FOR PERISHED BEAUTY 

Dream, dream of all the beauty marred 

And overthrown, dream of deflowered 
Pale campanili, evil-starred 

Embroidered cities, arched and towered, 
Angels that die on cloister-wall, 

Proud statues wronged by brutish hands, 
And moods of music rare that fall 

From hush to hush, and faery bands 
Of dancing rimes that follow fast 
The souls that wove, that loved them last, 
And gracious myths, like clouds that pass, 
Like faintlier pearling waves. Alas ! 
The heart must ache for their sweet sake. 

O high Platonic reverie, 

Come heal the heart that aches for these. 
The perfect Soul must live to see 

A Heaven of perfect Images. 
Endure, ye Dreams that hover by, 

Your faces veiled with burning wings, 
"When with sweet idol-worship, sigh 

On sigh, we shape us lovely things. 
Musicians, poets, carvers all, 
Painters, O folk fantastical ! 

29 



30 LAMENTATION FOR PERISHED BEAUTY 

Our sad phantasmata may go : 
The pure triumphal Patterns glow, 
Great star by star, where spirits are. 

The beauty found by long travail 

And patience of the hands of clay, 
Like those tired hands, like ashes pale, 

Like driven dust shall pass away. 
But the twin Dream the soul devised, 

Of her own flaming essence wrought, 
Shall that to Death be sacrificed ? 

Ah ! with the Matter dies the Thought ? 
O Soul, immortal like to Thee 
Thy works, thine archetypes, must be, 
And every fading earthly thing 
Have its diviner flowering 
By Thy four Streams, City of Dreams. 

O City Spiritual, fair 

With all the fairness human heart 
Hath builded ! Star of our despair, 

Dear City of God, our own thou art ! 
What though our blind and nomad way 

Through lion-coloured desert-lands 
We travel, and the doubtful day 

Is thickened with these whirling sands, 
The dust of what was exquisite ? 
Mirage or none, what strange delight 
To see thy pale rose-fretted spires 
Like a fire-opal wild with fires 
Enchant the breast of yon gold West ! 



SAINT LOIS 

Lois the Maid, 

Amid the ruining walls of golden Rome, 
"Within the "Wood of Olives made her home. 

Grey eyes afraid, 

And heavy carven curls, and beauty pale 
She hid with Christ her Lord behind the Veil. 

While Gothic Kings 

Girdled the dim-gold pomp of awful Rome, 
Gript hard the sunset city of arch and dome, 

With rings on rings 
Of terror, softly did she pray apart, 
Her white hands crossed on her adoring heart. 

That sunset fell 

In great excess of gold and scarlet foam ; 
Fantastic horror broke on ravished Rome. 

A gust from hell, 

It shook the cloister. Lois, her legend saith, 
Ran to her God the easy way of death. 

So Lois a Maid 

Conquered. Then, in the dewy dusk, for her 
"Was found a proud and lovely sepulchre. 

31 



32 SAINT LOIS 

And she was laid 

Within a rose-red couch of porphyry : 
Maenads, vines, panthers were the tracery. 

For, in that shrine, 

'Mid waters and pluckt lotos did sweet rites 
Of old, a Pagan princess of delights 

Redder than wine. 

But now an ivory-carven saint they laid 
"Within the rose-lit hollow, Loi's the Maid. 



When Loi's the Maid 
Went up the Stair of Heaven, did she go, 
As was her wont, like music sad and low ? 

Or with a braid 

Of vine within her hair, and hands upthrown, 
Did she come dancing through the gates alone ? 



THE HIGH GESTE 

The High Geste I shall never do, 
How it is with me night and day ! 

A pillared flame it lights me through 
The darkness of the Dreamers' Way ! 

A pillared cloud, across the dew 

Of dawn it moves, and stains the blue. 

The High Geste 1 shall never do, 

How it consumes me, heart and brain !. 

A mere faint shadow to pursue 
That Splendour beautiful in vain, 

Is my tired soul. None ever knew 

How fair the thing I cannot do. 

The High Geste I shall never do 

Sends burning ripples through my hate. 

And veils my sleep with purple hue, 
And wakes like viols delicate 

Within my love. My dreams are true 

To the sweet Geste I cannot do. 


The High Geste I shall never do 
Lies heavily within my breast : 

"With fine desire and subtle rue 
Is fed this Unborn loveliest. 

But I grow pale and weary. Strew 

The bier with marigolds for two. 

D 33 



34 THE HIGH GESTE 

Shall the High Geste I never do 
Be my good Angel at the last ? 

Or like a ruined seraph sue 
That, face to face with her bound fast, 

I writhe in hell, for ever true 

To the High Geste I did not do ? 



THE DIFFERENCE 

Great rainbows leapt, and stars down fell, 
And love and pride and scorn 

Drove men to heaven and to hell 
Ere ever I was born. 

The Lover's Pomp shall revel by ; 

"Winding a mighty horn 
Shall speed the Hunt of Pride when I 

Am dead that have been born. 

The Holy Grail shall yet be sought, 

High hope shall be outworn 
And men go down to death : but nought 

As I had ne'er been born. 

Oh ! Stranger dreams because of me 

Shall trouble eve and morn ; 
And love and roses redder be 

Because I have been born. 



35 



THE FEAR OF THE ARTIST 

How can I know if this be steeped indeed 
In those great hues my great Intentions need ? 
For, as I toil, the Dream that I sustain 
For ever in the temple of my brain, 
Like a sweet story told on painted glass, 
O'erfloods my doing, till the glories pass 
All precious colour that was ever wrung 
Like wine from matter, that hath ever sprung, 
Sudden and unexplained and perfect flower, 
From the idle soul of some fair fortunate hour. 
So, in the light of what it ought to be, 
My longing imagery I must see 
As lovelier, lovelier, lovelier than it is. 
One day mine eyes unsealed may break my heart 
for this. 



36 



HARVEST SONG 

I saw strong reapers going up 
Unto the flowery Altar-stair. 
Great golden sheaves above their heads 
For God's first-fruits they bare. 
(But I had only poppies, 

My frail, soft-falling dreams. 
I strewed them o'er the temple floor, 
For I was a dreamer of dreams.) 

I saw fair women going up 

"With maunds of apples in their hands, 
And branches hung with amethyst, 
And grapes on golden wands. 
(But I had only poppies, 

Vain, ruby-dropping dreams. 
Yet with my store did I adore 
The Dreamer of all the Dreams.) 



37 



SONG OF FRUITION 

(For an October Mother.) 

A cloud-gold world serene and sweet, 
All golden air and golden wheat, 
And vintagers with stained feet 

And bosoms garlanded ! 
Torch-lilies in the gardens all, 
And drowsy sunflowers mystical, 
"WTiile gracious apples globe and fall 

In orchards gold and red. 

The yellow moon a-ripening lies 
Pavilioned soft in sunset skies, 
And I in Love's dim Paradise, 

Like a pomegranate-tree 
Grown burning-rich and fragrant-fair, 
Dream ever in the charmed air, 
For in my breast sweet fruit I bear, 

A beauty yet to be ! 

Oh ! dear, most dear the tender Spring, 
The thrilled strange days of flowering ! 
'Mid lilies, songs, and violing 
The bridal-path I trod, 

38 



SONG OF FRUITION 39 

But now amid the autumn-peace 
"With vines and wheat I yield increase, 
I yield amid the autumn-peace, 
Oblation to my God. 

"When from the world serene and sweet 
Is gathered in the golden wheat, 
A vintager with pure still feet 

I to the Temple-gate 
"With all the harvesters will go, 
My delicate love-sheaf to show, 
My little Cup of Wine aglow, 

My secret Pomegranate. 

That from delight may come delight 

I wait through cloud-gold day and night, 

Through vague mysterious pleasures, white 

Irradiances of pain. 
For to Oblation all things yearn, 
As sunflowers to their sun-god turn, 
As holy frankincense to burn 

In altar-fire is fain. 



THE CAITIFF PRINCE 

Like the carved head of that Bithynian knight 
In whom the Kaiser Adrian took delight 
Was his young head. The grace of courtesy 
Made rich his soul, and troubled his reverie 
"With delicate chords, as amber honey dwells 
Throughout the honeycomb, as chiming bells 
Fulfil the belfry. 

And his lonely heart 

"Went singing through the labyrinths of art. 
His pointed hands from string or hollow reed 
Could lure strange music for a lover's need ; 
Around miraculous legends he could twine 
Pixies, birds, angels in great whorls of vine ; 
And Fire, his passionate playmate, gave him, too, 
Enamels like the peacock burning blue 
And green round swan -white Loves and Graces. 

Yet 

He pined beneath his princedom's bitter debt 
To pain and labour, and he served alway 
Pity's high altar. When the Christ-holiday 
Let him go forth, like Love's own almoner, 
Where the poor spirit-broken bedesfolk were, 

40 



THE CAITIFF PRINCE 41 

Their sorrowful brother in his rose-brocades, 
Compassed about with golden cavalcades, 
Humblest of all he left his purple seat, 
And bowed his brilliant head to wash their feet. 

But one red morn the war-dukes brought with joy 

Fair armour of Damascus to the boy, 

A jewelled sword they set between his hands, 

Crying : " Go out and conquer. Through the sands 

Of razed-out cities ride thy great war-horse. 

Trample the Five free Towns without remorse, 

And a new crown of balas-rubies bring 

That "Warrior, thy father and our king." 

But, whiter than an Easter-tide flambeau, 

He like a clarion spake : " I will not go ". 

The king his father called the captains nigh. 
Pointing, he muttered : " Let him go or die ". 

The day the armies met, the prince was found 
Within his turret, lying robed and crowned, 
Robed in white linen, crowned with oak-leaves, 

lord 
Of perfect peace, dead by the virgin sword. 

His father, rending him from out the race, 
Buried him in a nameless garden-place. 
The whispering curious people as a dim 
Stained ghost, " The Caitiff Prince," remembered 
him. 



42 THE CAITIFF PRINCE 

The Caitiff Prince, who rather tasted of 

The pangs of death than soil his dream of love f 

Rather than drink the Cup of the Darker Lust, 

Unto the loathed chambers of the Dust 

Smiling he passed, from what delicious Ways 

Of noble pleasure, dream-branched nights and days ! 

He died, and was forgotten. Softly keep, 

Thou vasty violet Minster-house of Sleep, 

His beauty made for Spring's white festival, 

Like perishable passion-lilies all 

Of pearl and topaz. Surely there must arise 

From that crushed heart, incense that finds the 

skies, 

And hails the Spirit of Love who sits alone 
With pierced side upon his burning throne. 



THE REGAL-PLAYING ANGEL 

I bore not gold and scarlet vails 

"WTien that I moved on Earth : 
I am not sung in princely tales 

Of tourney, masque and mirth. 
Nor did I seek the splendid scrolls 

Of wisdom and of art ; 
The folly of dim-dreaming souls 

Was mine, the simple heart. 
Nor to my shrinking breast were bid 

The pangs that make the saint : 
Only one witless thing I did, 

Sudden and blind and quaint. 
I ran to Love who bade me come, 

To Love my Lord most sweet : 
I brake my heart for balsamum 

And spilt it o'er his feet. 
So now, an angel clothed in white 

"With roses red o'erstrewn, 
I stand the foremost in delight, 

For Love is on the throne. 
Midmost the music is my place, 

O peers angelical ! 
My gilded regal I embrace 

That sounds the note for all. 

43 



THE WOMEN AT THE SEPULCHRE 

'Mid their green leaves of secret thought, 

Fed with miraculous dew, 
From sheathed dreams to flowering wrought, 

In shadowy dells they grew 
By pools of peace, recluse and pale 
Like holy lilies of the vale. 

"With twilight eyes and calm curled hair 

By hidden ways they trod ; 
Sad sumptuous perfumes they bare 

And graveclothes for a God, 
That Prince of perfect love for "WTiom 
They met around the garden tomb. 

(But one from Sin's fantastic lands 

In glistering attire, 
With pierced feet and pierced hands 

Came thorough rose and briar ; 
Yet had her alabastron shed 
The first great fragrance for the Dead.) 

The spices of Epiphany 

By Magian Kings were borne ; 
But tenderly, so tenderly, 

Of Resurrection Morn 
The mournful sweet spice-bearers came 
To seek their Lord in death and shame. 

44 



THE MEDITATION OF YOUTH 

It is a strange and dreadful thing to die : 

More cruel are the pangs of growing old. 
With sacrifice of doves, with song and sigh, 

O Death, we ring thy moonlit altar cold ! 

But we protest with agony and rage, 

Hateful the gross indignity of age. 
"With all the banners of our beauty set, 

To break with trumpets o'er the twilit Mark, 

Affront and storm the bastions of the Dark 
In one great gust of music and regret, 
Ere the gold crown-imperial ravished be 

And from the breast the scent of roses fade, 
So might this fair Adventure end. "Woe's me ! 
Conclusion unafraid, 

Mournful, yet sweet and strange ! 
But, to eat ashes ere we fall to dust, 

By dull degrees of deflagrating change, 
By slow deflowering of dim disgust 

Put on mortality ! 
O transubstantiation curst ! Not God 
From earthly stuff, but Spirit dulled to clod ! 
O Soul that loved thy garment faery-fine, 
Coloured like milk, and mayflower, and red wine, 

45 



46 THE MEDITATION OF YOUTH 

Go softly, softly like a beggar. Thou 
Sackcloth and torment shall that body avow. 
So some fallen sovereign, ere hands obscure 
Do him to death, must openly endure 
Disorbing, disanointment, the grim Play, 
The loathly shame of Abdication Day. 



THE MEDITATION OF AGE 

Is it not well, before He duskling come, 

(That mystic Messenger 

"With soft-winged feet, 
As the keen scent of moist and bruised myrrh 

Sudden and sweet), 

Is it not well, ere the last merle be dumb, 
To sit the tender violet twilight through, 
And feel the lonely pearling of the dew, 
The sleeping of the daisies, the soft rue 
Of old-world cradlesongs, that subtle store 
Of things for which there was no time before ? 

Then the stilled Soul within, 
Thrown from the reckless chariot of Sense, 
Freed from the whirling stadium of Sin, 
Lifts up her eyes of newborn innocence, 

And in those Images, 
Stormy desire for their fair Shapes adored, 

Sees flame-like witnesses, 
White spirits burning for another Lord. 
Is it not well, kindness to give and take 
For nothing, nothing, but sweet kindness' sake ? 
And for a dream to take into the Night, 

Is it not well to see 
47 



48 THE MEDITATION OF AGE 

Before the end, the Vision exquisite 

Of yonder Princely Pleasure of proud Youth, - 

As we saw not in truth, 
"WTien in the Pageant-picture bright were we ? 



THE HEAVENLY LOVE IS DISCONTENTED 
WITH HIS LUTE 

And must I wreak my soaring Vision, 

My music of immortal things, 
O strange and passionate misprision ! 

Upon a lute of five poor strings ? 
What though of ivory and amber 

'Tis wrought, and curiously adorned, 
Though golden vines about it clamber ? 

Ah ! like a young moon silver-horned 
And silver-veiled, with rainbows round her,. 

The dream is that I have to say, 
A young moon when the stars have found her 

Upon the sea-green verge of day. 
O strange and passionate misprision, 

O music of immortal things ! 
How can I wreak my heavenly Vision 

Upon a lute of five poor strings ? 
Rend it, and cast it in the dust, 
Lest it should sound the same for Lust. 



49 



THE PAGES 

Renaissance 

I saw a host of slim white pages ride 

Through flowering fields to meet a sovran bride. 

Milk-white they rode under that thrilling sky, 

And white the palfreys were that bore them by ; 

But scarlet capped each haughty gilded head, 

And on each breast a heart-shaped ruby bled, 

And red red passion-flowers were wrought around 

The silver riding-cloths that swept the ground. 

Like morning stars they all together sang, 

Yet each a separate sweet descant rang 

Within his soul, and every singer knew 

Some secret joy, as roses know the dew. 

Like to adoring angels did they ride, 

For all were dreaming, dreaming of the Bride. 

So one went musing : " 'Tis my yearning art 

With epithalamies to find her heart ". 

One breathed : " I am her violer, and, lo ! 

Among the lilies even can Music go ". 

And one : " She loves the delicate gods antique ; 

And I shall read to her the subtle Greek ". 

50 



THE PAGES 51 

But her Cupbearer sighed : " Shall I not bring 

The last sweet chalice when her maidens ring 

The mystic lady, ere the Music lead 

To the High Chamber ? May I touch indeed 

Cold hands like ivory, and so surprise 

The stars and darkness of her nuptial eyes ? " 

I saw a host of slim white pages ride, 

And all were dreaming, dreaming of the Bride. 



THE CROSS 

I praised my Lady's beauty white, 

Her soft bright hair, her eyelids sweet : 
I sang the delicate delight 

That broods upon her hands and feet. 
She raised her arms against the West : 

Behind her the dark outline grew, 
The lilies fell from out her breast, 

A spirit crucified I knew. 
The Soul upon the body nailed, 

And Love it was the Calvary ! 
Down smote her eyes on mine, that failed 

Before her lonely agony. 



THE SWINEHERD SOLILOQUISES 

King Easter keeps his rainbow court 

"With ladies and with knights, 
High in a veiled and vivid House, 

Fruited with splendid lights. 
Rose-jasper and green smaragdus, 
That House is builded glorious. 

(Blojck is the hovel, and hard is the bed 

Where the fair Folding Star brings my heavy dark 
head.} 

Nine maidens his flute-players are, 

"With fingers white and long, 
Nine slender boys his taborers 

To make the music strong. 
I, if I cared, with these might sing 
And play before the dreaming King. 

(0 piercing strange Sorrow that sleeps in my 
Reed, 

Would I sell you a slave, though King Easter had 
need ?) 

White like Narcissus is the King, 

His curls are goldsmith-work, 
His hands are like the mages', wrought 

Within the Lady-Kirk, 
53 



54 THE SWINEHERD SOLILOQUISES 

Ivory weary hands that hold 

Great curious caskets, red and gold. 
(But I see when I stare in the amber pool 
That the swarthy and swift may be beautiful.) 

"WTien Easter, tired of festival, 

"Would muse on lovely words, 
He reads in precious painted books 

Borne up by brazen birds : 
Or bids a voice of silver spells 
Ring verses, beauty's miracles. 

(But the sylvans and satyrs they give me for love 

The old wood-wisdom he knows not of.) 

Since I am strong and he is weak, 

His throne shall yet be mine, 
Though he be closed in emerald 

And I sit watching swine. 
A King of Riders, I shall tame 
The caitiff world, like rushing flame. 

(In a cloister white shall Monk Easter lie 

Like a carven flower, till he shatter and die.) 



IN THE FIELDS OF LOVE 

Far apart in the fields of Love, 

Brothers, I am weeping. 
"With song on song in the fields of Love, 

Brothers, ye are reaping. 
Reap, reap ! For the Star is high. 
Weep, weep ! For the Night is nigh. 

Soft ye sowed in the fair Springtide 
With dreamy rhythmic motion : 

And now the rhythmic sickles glide 
Amid the golden ocean. 

O white sweet Reapers, home ye bear 

The sheaves above your yellow hair. 

Soft did I sow, soft did I sow 
With both my glad white hands ; 

My staves of sowing-song rang low 
Across the blue spring-lands : 

But never an ear in the harvest hours, 

Only a foison of fruitless flowers ! 

Yet I will bind them into sheaves, 
Red, white, withouten number : 

And I will crush from the lovely leaves 
At least the fruit of slumber. 

We flowered and fell for mere delight :- 

Bear us away, O Winds of Night. 

55 



THE BODY 

Only the nest of spices 

That spends upon the air 
Sweet smoke of sacrifices 

"When, terrible and fair, 
The phcenix Soul arises 

The heavenlier gold to dare !- 
Alas ! The nest of spices 

Fading through earthly air ! 



56 



THE PILGRIM AND THE REVELLER 

" Fair youth, why linger by the palace-door 
Far from the minstrel-din ? 

Joy is within : 
I hear his dances beat across the floor. 

And, lo ! the wand 
Of revel-marshal in thy listless hand ! " 

"Pale pilgrim-girl, why to the House of Mirth 
Dost thou draw very near ? 

"Why bend thine ear 
To these vain roundels echoing all of Earth ? 

Upon thy breast 
The Cross doth bind thee to the Loneliest." 

" O beautiful strange boy like Eros, hark ! 
On pilgrimage I came 

By sin and shame 
Tormented sore. But in my breast long dark 

New lilies grow ; 
And unto Calvary I cannot go." 

" O tender, wasted Soul, put forth thine hand. 
Take thou this rod desired, 

For I am tired. 
Take thou the glistering masque-marshal's wand, 

And hood my head, 
And I will be the palmer in thy stead." 

57 



58 THE PILGRIM AND THE REVELLER 

She took his green white-daisied robes, his chains 
Of peridot and pearl, 

That pilgrim-girl. 
He kissed and gave his ivory staff. Then reigns 

Her beauty quite 
Like some dark agate-lantern quick with light. 

He seized the violet cowls, the carven rood. 
His Dionysos head, 
Still garlanded, 
Broke like flute-music from the sombre hood. 

Magnificent 
Cross-bearer, down the Path of Pain he went. 



THE QUIETIST 

I 

I dreamed as dream the seraphim 

Where God's white roses grew. 
Then, lest I caitiff were to Him, 

I ran to draw and hew 
With them that labour. So my guilt 

Seemed over ; but askew 
I clove the wood, and ever spilt 

The water that I drew. 

And bitter was my rue. 

II 

Then came the Master of Delight 
And softly called for me : 

" Be still, be still, mine acolyte ! 
My dreams are laid on thee. 

It is enough, it is enough 
To hearken and to see 

The secret sweetest things of Love, 
And waft felicity, 
Yea ! like a white rose-tree." 



59 



IMPRESSION OF AUTUMN 

One leaf and then another 

Fell down the morning blue. 
One bird, and then a brother, 

Cleaving the crystal flew 
From the bright-smouldering tree 
Like heralds of some high and splendid Mystery. 

Oh ! delicate dim pleasures 
About my soul did cling, 
Like fumes from fragrant treasures 

Borne by a magus-King 
In graven censer old 

Through cities trembling out the hues of gems and 
gold. 

Mine eyes did I surrender 

To truth. And, lo ! there sat 
On every bough of splendour, 

Singing Magnificat, 
A spirit robed in red 

"With flaming swirling hair, and scarlet wings out- 
spread. 

60 



IMPRESSION OF AUTUMN 61 

I said : " It is the season 

When Life abandoneth 

Her immemorial treason, 

Her craven fear of Death. 
Flame-like, serene and fair, 

See how the passing Souls burn through the veils 
. they wear." 



THE MONK AND THE ANGELS 

He could no longer fast and pray, 
The fair young Monk, and so he lay 
Drowned in his trance, wasted and wan, 
Yet sweet as Saint Sebastian. 
An Angel stood beside his head 
"With great dark eyes, and plumes rose-red ; 
But wings of emerald flame did beat 
Round the gold Angel at his feet. 

First Angel 

Glittering lie the roads outside, 
For there God's proud crusaders ride, 
Superbly as to some King's feast, 
Into the great gold-lotos East. 
And there God's merry minstrels play 
The long Adventure of the Day. 
And through the pure green evening 
See silver-flaming Hesper bring 
God's lovers, moving softly o'er 
Shut daisies, to the bridal door. 
But he lies broken. Is it well, 
This piece of youth, this iron cell ? 

62 



THE MONK AND THE ANGELS 

Second Angel 

He is not God's crusader, No ! 

Nor yet His music-maker. So 

No crowned and perfume-burning Hour 

Shall bring him to the bridal-bower. 

And yet to God he lives and dies 

Though but His prisoner he lies. 

First Angel 

Natheless, a child of wind and flame, 

To dare, to love, to sing he came 

Through Youth's may-flowering Paradise. 

Rare passions burned within his eyes 

Like morning-stars. They rayed and spread 

Like peacock-wings behind his head : 

Like fiery sandals shod his feet, 

And wreathed his curls like garlands sweet, 

And strung his lute with silver chords, 

And armed him with fantastic swords. 

Second Angel 

But, if he fought, his sword was bent 
Until his own wild heart it rent : 
And, if he danced, he danced, 'tis told, 
As might the mad earth-gods of old, 
And, if he sang, his heart's desire 
Shook silver whorls of Greekish fire 
Upon the bastions and the ships : 
And, if he kissed, his yearning lips 



64 THE MONK AND THE ANGELS 

The flower of rapture quite clove through, 

Clove through the rose-leaves and the dew 

To find the certain core of pain. 

Like a bright banner he could gain 

"Wild souls to battle. Like a vine 

Round dreaming souls did he entwine. 

Like Amor in red raiment he 

His Pagan meinie daintily 

Led through men's quiet dream of life : 

The wake was passion, splendour, strife. 

Like the Star Wormwood's, in their seas 

His beauty changed to agonies : 

A sweet Excess, it hovered 

Above his gleaming royal head, 

As a great jewelled butterfly 

With wings of scarlet trembles high 

O'er a king-lily honey-white, 

Adust with gold of love-delight. 

First Angel 

Therefore he heard the Voice one day : 
Child, go thou apart and pray. 

Second Angel 

Because, in certain souls, he knows, 
The ecstasy of beauty grows 
Without the miracle of Will : 
Since they are chosen to fulfil 
That bittersweet dark Mystery, 



THE MONK AND THE ANGELS 65 

Renunciation, which must be 
Maintained for ever. Crown on crown 
Is theirs, that they may cast them down 
Upon the cold cathedral-floors, 
And see dispart the cloister-doors. 

First Angel 

But, oh ! the costly sacrifices ! 
O waste of roses and rose-spices ! 

Second Angel 

Yet Peace is with the votarist. 
This House of Silence white and whist, 
Hath sweetness not of Earth, like musk 
Arising through the delicate dusk. 
Surely his bleeding feet must go 
To joys the joyous never know. 
Else could Love be unsatisfied 
If through the sunrise-coloured tide 
Of singers, warriors, lovers, He 
The Black Renunciants cannot see 
"With hooded head and pierced heart 
Go down the Way of Pain apart ? 

First Angel 

But, oh ! the roses dead that cover 
The slain sweet warrior, singer, lover ! 



TWILIGHT LOVE 

As the faint white ghost of the dying wave drifts in- 
land, 

The shadowy wraith of my love breaks over thee. 
Not for thy beautiful hands are my hands aching, 
Not for thy lips do mine go grey to see. 

(Though magical verily 
The mouth that is music, the hands that are reverie.} 

But fain would my soul through thine ivory doors 
and agate 

Duskling steal to the place of the secret throne, 

And hail thy soul where she sits in her silver twi- 
light, 

Rigid, and lovely, and weary with sitting alone. 
(As the ghost of a wave is blown 

My Soul would pass and would fall at the foot of 
thy throne.) 



66 



MATURITY 

Now might the soul, grown wise and delicate, 

Be God's diviner, if some passionate power 
Could these tired senses plunge and recreate 

"Within the chaudron of a white-hot hour. 
For troubled, troubled are they with the lees 

Of much ignoble pleasure, wasteful pain, 
Flawed cups too sullied with vile vanities 

The crystal spring of beauty to contain, 
Sad viols rended by too frequent rape 

To lure a heavenly lutanist at last, 
Base moulds too faithful to the satyr's shape 

The wild-winged dreams of Victory to cast. 
Ah ! let them fierily forget their shame, 
And find virginity within the flame. 



67 



LOVE'S DOUBTER 

Never within the last illumined veil ! 
Why should this ever be 
Denied to me ? 

Oh ! Many souls than mine more earthen-pale 
Do that last entrance win. 
What is my sin ? 

It is excess of love wherein I fail. 
O Love, I love Thee so 
I fear to go, 

Lest, throned on stained ivory, vermeil 
With mystic rose and grape, 

Sit what strange shape ? 



68 



TRANSFIGURATION 

I dreamed my Lady came 
Unto the Doors of Heaven, and spoke her claim 

To enter. And I smiled, 
Seeing the darling folly of the child. 

For, like a faery queen, 
In great-winged robes of glistering gold and green, 

Bordered with miniver, 
Yet she was gloriously clad, and her 

Deep tresses, whorl on whorl, 
"With love-knot, turkis, emerald and pearl, 

Were wreathed curiously : 
"While her small shoes (most foolish-dear for me !) 

Two monstrous roses bore. 
She clasped a carven coffer, filled with store 

Of balsams, and dead flowers, 
Letters and favours, drift of Love's fair hours. 

Thin chains, caught o'er her arms, 
Carried her fans, pomanders, verse-books, charms 

And rosaries, all toys 
Delightful, all a girl- Joy's little joys. 

I kissed her violet eyes, 

69 



70 TRANSFIGURATION 

Her young mouth curled in wistful wondering wise. 

11 Oh ! Whither, Love ? " said I. 
Quoth she : " I will go up to Heaven high 

"With all my pretty treasure ". 
But I : " Thou tender Grace, thou delicate Pleasure, 

Thou Dearest, it is dust 
Unto the Heavenly hearts. Why, change thou must 

To some strange Adoration, 
Some lorn, moon- white, moon-cold Renunciation, 

Before thou enter in. 
O mine own Joy, what wouldest thou within ? " 

But from the gates one veiled 
Came forth, and gazed upon her eyes that quailed, 

And cast her toys away : 
(Like shed rose-leaves adown the twilight grey !) 

And laid his hand upon 
Her bosom. Lo ! Earth's lovely cloud was gone ! 

From her penumbra freed 
The naked Soul stood flaming-white indeed. 

She turned on me her eyes 
In godlike, dark, intolerable wise, 

A solemn Adoration, 
A strange indifferent Renunciation. 

I moaned : " I know you not. 
Oh ! by my broken heart, I know you not." 



TRANSFIGURATION 71 

All vain dream-shows withdrawn 
Before the grey pure eyes of simple Dawn, 

I rose, and musing went 
Through glades all dews and daisies, woody scent 

And singing larks, unto 
Her door ; and saw the lintel branched with yew. 

Calm with exceeding fear, 
I passed to the dim hall : I saw the bier. 

O solemn golden head ! 
Moon-white, moon-cold, estranged, my Joy lay dead. 



"TURN NOT THINE HEAD" 

Turn not thine head, 
Dreaming with mournful and mysterious eyes, 

For so the Dead 
Have ever turned, as in some pale surprise 

Of parting, just before 
They passed within that adamantine door. 

Turn not thine head, 
Delicate and superb, all purple and gold. 

'Tis garlanded 
With rue, and coifed with shadow. So, of old, 

Love ever looked farewell 
Before he passed away, to Heaven, to Hell ? 



72 



A CONCLUSION 

If all the dream-like things are vain, 
If all the strange delight and pain 
Of love and beauty cannot be 
The heirs of immortality, 
Then shall I worship all the more 
Those images I now adore. 

If all things perish, it were best 
To die with beauty, lie at rest 
In her great drift of ruined roses, 
"With lovely songs to have our closes, 
Yea, as on some transcendent pyre 
Of sandalwood, to pass in fire 
Mid broken alabaster, whence 
Arise great clouds of frankincense, 
Carved ivory and sard, and robes 
Of purple dye, and magic globes 
Of burning crystal, scattered gems 
Like flowers, and holy diadems, 
Papyrus writ with perfect rimes, 
And lutes fulfilled of tender chimes, 
And lucid cups all scriptured round 
"With slim white dancing gods vine-bound, 
And agate lamps, whence tongues of light 
Flare out into the endless night. 

73 



HADES 

By the river of flame the pale ghosts go, 

"Wandering on and on, 
Like thin white clouds by the red-gold flow 

Of the great stream Phlegethon. 
But, ah ! when I let my bride-song call 
Through the crags and gulfs of the twilight lands, 
They tremble, they toss their wasted hands, 

Murmuring : " Oh ! The Hour 
With Love in the earthly even/all I " 

For mine is the only dream has power 
To run wild-winged by the river red 
And quicken the cold hearts of the Dead. 



74 



BY THE SEA 

The purple Twilight sighing closed her wings about 

the lands : 
Thin shards of lucid jasper lay upon the silver 

sands : 
And thy most tired and flower-like head fell o'er 

thy pointed hands. 

" Oh ! Hide me, hide me," didst thou pray, " Pure 
Tower of Ivory ! 

Soul of Mary, cover now ! " But from the trancen 

sea 

A golden heathen stranger came, and smiling stood 
by thee. 

" Now open, open, Door of Pearl, and let the hunted 

in, 
For Love hath tracked me to the sea, and the last 

throes begin. 
Love's arrow thrills upon the string, nor farther 

can I win." 

1 saw the naked Stranger white as castled Ivory : 

I saw the Door of Pearl unfold by that green-kindled 

sea : 
For Aphrodite cast her arms, and closed her hands 

on thee. 

75 



THE LUDOVISI VENUS 

Lift her softly like roses, 

For, lo ! she is tender and tired, 
The wonderful "World's desired. 

Lift her like sad white roses. 

The delicate raiment wavers. 
Over the flowery faint 
Limbs like the limbs of a saint 

The flowing bride-weed wavers. 

O Sorrow and Sleep, her maidens, 

Like bending lily-wands 

Bow down to the sweet blind hands 
That yearn to you, her maidens. 

Tired, so tired already ! 

And through what gyres, alas ! 
Of burning souls must pass 

She who is tired already. 



76 



A GARDEN SONG 

While walking in a twilight 

As jubilant as dawn, 
I heard a silver singing 

And, lo ! a dreamy Faun 

Upon a lily lawn. 

" O come within the Garden, 
And see the Spring a-flower. 

Sad mortal folk, I call you, 
For in the dewy hour 
My music still has power. 

" O come within the Garden. 
The Tree of Life will rain 

Her healing leaves upon you, 
And ye shall find again 
The gods ye seek with pain. 

" They dwell within the Garden 

Like lilies white and gold. 
Oh ! come. "With dreams and dances 

Adore them as of old. 

Forget your idols cold." 

77 



78 A GARDEN SONG 

So through the umber twilight 

More drenched in light than dawn, 

There stole the silver singing 
Of that soft-smiling Faun 
Upon his lily lawn. 



A NOVEMBER LAMENT 

My days are losing 
Their leaves of gold. 

Love's lips are bruising 
The wounds of old : 

The winds are musing 
Through all my gold. . 
Black rain and cold 

My vines are spoiling, 

My paved path soiling ; 
And I remember 
In dim November 
The wounds of old. 

Fierce pulses beat 

In my hands and feet, 
And in my side, 
This Hallowtide. 

Is Pain undying, 

O "Wind low-sighing 
Through fallen gold, 

That I remember 

In dim November 

The wounds of old ? 



79 



MAY-MUSIC 

Oh ! lose the winter from thine heart, the darkness 
from thine eyes, 

And from the low hearth-chair of dreams, my Love- 
o'-May, arise ; 

And let the maidens robe thee like a white white- 
lilac tree, 

Oh ! Hear the call of Spring, fair Soul, and wilt 
thou come with me ? 

Even so, and even so ! 
Whither thou goest, I will go. 
I would follow thee. 

Then wilt thou see the orange trees star-flowering 

over Spain, 
Or arched and mounded Kaiser-towns that moulder 

mid Almain, 

Or through the cypress-gardens go of magic Italy ? 
Oh ! East or West or South or North, say, wilt thou 

come with me ? 

Even so, or even so ! 
Whither thou goest, I will go. 
I will follow thee. 

80 



MAY-MUSIC 81 

But wilt thou farther come with me through haw- 
thorn red and white 

Until we find the wall that hides the Land of Heart's 
delight ? 

The gates all carved with olden things are strange 
and dread to see : 

But I will lift thee through, fair Soul. Arise and 
come with me ! 

Even so, Love, even so I 
Whither thou goest, I will go ! 
Lo, I follow thee. 



PARISINA TO UGO D'ESTE 

I gave thee fine green garments 
To clothe thy beauty wrought 

Of pale pale pearl and amber ; 
And thou, as lilies ought, 

"Went sheathed in silken raiment 
"When Spring her triumph brought. 

I gave thee yearning viols 

That mourned like faint moonrise. 
So might of dying roses 

The suppliance arise, 
And as the viol-music, 

The music of thine eyes. 

And all I had of sweetness 
I gave thee. Gave thee ? Nay ! 

It was a Wind arising 

That blew by night and day 

My mesh of burning tresses, 
My tired white hands thy way. 

I gave thee love like madness. 

"We seemed, since joy began, 
Two dancing lights immortal 

That still together ran, 
And shadows, shadows, shadows 

Castle and Castellan ! 
82 



PARISINA TO UGO D'ESTE 83 

But Death perfumes the garments 

Like rosemarie and rue ; 
And Death hath strung the viols 

That search me through and through ; 
And on thy path my beauty 

The "Wind of Death did strew. 

And Death is in those kisses 

Most wonderful and wan ! 
Oh ! how could we remember 

"When such a love began, 
Death is the looming Castle, 

Death, Death the Castellan ! 



PEACE 

Green grasses from the Morning take 

The riches of the dew, 
Yet know not how nor why they wake 

So bright beneath the blue. 

Within love's great felicity 

My soul slept sweetlier, 
And a strange splendour silently 

With beauty crystalled her. 



84 



THE JOYS OF ART 

As a dancer dancing in a shower of roses before her 

King 

(A dreamer dark, the King) 
Throws back her head like a wind-loved flower, and 

makes her cymbals ring 

(O'er her lit eyes they ring) ; 
As a fair white dancer strange of heart, and crowned 

and shod with gold, 
My soul exults before the Art, the magian Art of 

old. 



85 



MORNING-MUSIC AT THE TOMB 

'Mid strange Egyptian spices, 
Great urns of rare perfume, 

'Mid all bright sacrifices, 
In thy carven tomb, 

Dearest, art thou sleeping 
Lapt in silver state ? 

Hark the Music weeping 
Round thy gate ! 

(Sweet, Sweet, 
Art thou dreaming of Morn ? 

Hark to the calling 
Of hautboy and horn ! 

Sweet, Sweet, 
Now the Night is outworn.) 

Thy shroud is cloth-of -roses 
"With psyche-wings o'erstrewn : 

Red sard his heart discloses 
And chrysoberyl stone. 

One deathless lamp is yearning 
Thy calm crowned head above : 

Thy deathless hair lies burning, 
O my Love ! 

86 



MORNING-MUSIC AT THE TOMB 87 

(Sweet, Sweet, 
Art thou dreaming of Morn ? 

Hark to the pleading 
Of hautboy and horn ! 

Arise, Sweet, 
For the Night is outworn.) 

Yet is it cold and lonely 

Thy virgin-chamber, Dear ? 
I bring thee solace. Only 

Through spells of Death, give ear. 
O feet of subtile cadence, 

How can ye lie so still, 
While here the youths and maidens 
Dance at will ? 

(Sweet, Sweet, 
Dream ever of Morn. 

Hark to the calling 
Of hautboy and horn ! 

Sweet, Sweet, 
Is the long Night outworn ?) 

There's One would reap the kisses 

Thou didst not yield to me, 
And part the veil of byssus 

Where sacred lilies be. 
His desecrating fingers 

Would seize thy foaming hair. 
Not while my Music lingers, 
Strong as prayer ! 



88 MORNING-MUSIC AT THE TOMB 

(Sweet, Sweet, 
My heart is outworn. 

Hark to my heralds, 
The hautboy and horn ! 

Sweet, Sweet, 
Art thou dreaming of Morn ?) 

"With strange Egyptian spices 
I charmed thee from decay ; 

With all bright sacrifices 
I made thy dark as day. 

With sard and chrysoberyl 
Thy catafalque is strewn. 

But in the House of Peril 
Thou art lone. 

(Sweet, Sweet, 
Let thy bridegroom be borne 

Even with a music 
Of hautboy and horn. 

Sweet, Sweet, 
We shall dream of the Morn.) 



INVITATION TO THE ROAD 

The World is rosy-pale with may, 

Wild-blue the sky above, 
The Road one white enchanted way 

For sandalled feet of Love. 
Come hither, Dearest, hand in hand 

Together let us go 
Through many a far strange Southern land 

Past vineyards and chateaux. 
In pointed crimson-lit chapelles 

"We two shall hear the Mass ; 
And pause to hearken antique bells 

"Where popes and kings did pass : 
Till from some silver height we see 

In lakes of light sunk deep 
The opal towns of Italy 

Like sirens fallen on sleep. 



89 



DREAMS OF NIGHT 

"When them must lie asleep, 

Lowered, bounden as with cerecloths, to that void 
Of dim-lit murmuring Slumber, where the cloyed 

Slow streams of Hades weep : 

Then shall they leaguer thee, 
The hooded host of things outworn, cast-by, 
The souls by which thy soul has mounted high 

To her felicity. 

Faint-sighing tongues shall claim 
Part and lot in thee, and cold hands like fear 
Annoy thy breast, and mournful eyes once dear 

Shall feed on thine like shame. 

Stirred to the bitter lees 
Shall be the wine-cup of thine heart. "Wake, 

wake 
Upon a pallid morn, vexed for the sake 

Of those tired memories : 

Oh ! troubled through and through 
"With throbbing of old wounds, with tears unspilt, 
"With real ache of strange unreal guilt, 

A dim remorse of rue. 

90 



ON THE WOLD 

She is lying out on the great brown Wold 

"Wrapt in a cloke of lead, 
That was used to walk in cloth-of-gold 

With pearls on her golden head. 

Beneath the drift of low-hung skies, 

Under the blasted oak, 
The Queen of an earthly Paradise 

Sleeps in a leaden cloke. 

Soft hands like roses and like dew 

They served the Loveliest : 
But now a great red wound cleaves through 

The beautiful tender breast. 

Like a rainbow sprang her castle brave. 

Love came through the archer-folk, 
And led her out to a shallow grave 

Under the blasted oak. 



91 



A SOUL LAMENTS THE DECAY OF HER 
BODY 

The moth is in my raiment, 
My rose and white brocade. 

Like overwearied lilies 
Behold it fall and fade ! 
(So petals fall and fade /) 

As fair moth-eaten raiment, 
One moment sweet and sad, 

Shows frayed unearthly beauty 
Far tenderer than it had. 
(Far dreamier than it had /) 

So, for some soft strange moments 

Before it is no more, 
My delicate tired splendour 

Is rarer than before. 

(More wistful than before /) 

Ah, me ! "When from my raiment 
The rose-white wreaths must pale, 

Can I endure to wear it, 
The spoiled and riven veil ? 
(The rent revealing veil!) 

92 



A SOUL LAiMENTS THE DECAY OF HER BODY 93 

Like silver Hesper rising 

Through amber-flaming cloud, 

So in my bedesmaid's mantle 
Shall I go pure and proud ? 
(7 may go wise and proud.) 

But, oh ! Sad lips and eyelids 
And flowering fingers white, 

That Love will kiss for pity, 
As once for mere delight ! 
(Mere passionate delight /) 



THE HERALDS 

The heralds came. 
With twenty azure trumpeters before, 

The heralds came. 

Seven slender boys like jonquil-flowers, they bore 
Their white and golden graces dreamily, 
In April coats, lilac and ivory. 

The heralds bowed 
Before their lady, and the Music ceased. 

Perfect, most proud, 

Like some wrought Virgin- Angel from the East 
From out her sumptuous niche of blue and green 
And gold mosaic gazing, shone the Queen. 

"The King returns," 
They told her. " Tired with triumph rides the King. 

Behind him burns 

The dolour of those amazing lights that spring 
From the great pyres of leaguer-strangled towns. 
His brow is burthened with excess of crowns." 

But like a flame 
Of mournful myrrhs the cry she uttered not : 

" Ah ! would he came 

Unkingdomed and unkinged, if so he brought 
Dream-haunted eyes, and kisses pure as dew, 
And a love-trancen heart, like one of you ! " 

94 



THE DOUBLES 

"When straight and still the body lies 

Upon the cool white bed, 
"When from the mouth and ears and eyes 

Their proper bliss has fled ; 
"When hands are crossed above the heart 

To bar the door to Sin ; 
The Spiritual Counterpart 

Floats upward from her Twin. 

Strange love-talk in the land of Sleep, 

Fantastic, obsolete ! 
Strange murder in the land of Sleep 

And snaring of swift feet ! 
Oh ! "When the urns of Dawn are spilt, 

The "Waking hardly know 
"What rangers in the "Woods of Guilt 

Nightlong their spirits go. 

Proud faces in the land of Sleep 

Long sunken in the clay ! 
And kisses in the land of Sleep 

"Where lowes red hate by day ! 
And struggles to the very death 

Until the dreamer wake 
"With wounded soul and failing breath 

Upon a white daybreak. 

95 



THE BEAUTY OF EARTH 

I 

The crested peacocks bear their gold-green moons 

Under the cypresses. "Where gloom and gleam 
The secret spaces of the great lagunes, 

Immaculate king-swans of Leda dream, 
While Lotos lies jade-white amid his leaves 

Jade-green. From bells and mazers of the 

flowers 
Bride-odours float through all the gold-hung eves : 

Great virgin-lilies rise like ivory towers, 
And damask-roses too desirous die. 

Strange rainbows break like music through the 

day : 
And when the peace of jewels holds the sky, 

Serenely down his emerald-paven way 
Exquisite Hesperus goes violing 
Through azure dusk, some lonely lovely thing. 



96 



THE BEAUTY OF EARTH 97 



II 

Stars, doves and moths and pomegranates and 
grapes, 

Figure Earth's arbour-cloths of sweet delight. 
Oh ! sumptuous colours, and most subtle shapes ! 

Oh ! pageant-place and pleasaunce infinite ! 
Yet warriors, wizards,, kings assay in vain 

The doors of these pavilions fair to win, 
Imagined by the angels for the Twain 

"Whose ecstasy alone may enter in. 
For Loved and Lover must in beauty meet 

For ever, Psyche white with white Eros 
Forget the anguish of their pilgrim feet 

Within this purple delicate parclose, 
While music, perfume, colour veil the kiss 
Whose only flame unseals God's mysteries. 



THE MOTHER DESIRES THE JOY OF HER 
CHILDREN 

[To K. C. W.] 

Because I had no dancing, they shall dance 
"With all the rapturous delicate circumstance 
Of dancing. Wed my rubies with fine gold 

For anklets that their feet 

Make music as they beat 
Blithely, for in young souls with grieving eyes 
Banished from that rich morrice, the song dies. 
The song dies, and I ache, I that am old, 

For those poor fettered feet 
That through no music-making measures beat. 

Because I had no silk and fine array, 
I shall sit late and spin my heart away 
That their bright beauty go in gilded veils, 
That ouches decorate 
Their idyll passionate. 

Ah ! the wronged children that pass hodden years 
Lost from the rainbow pageant of their peers ! 
Like lovers out of old Italian tales 

Shall I not decorate 
My bridal dreamers pale and passionate ? 

98 



THE JOY OF HER CHILDREN 99 

Since I drank poverty and ate of it, 
They shall have cates for their fair substance fit : 
For their white throats I brew red ypocras. 

Subtle and fierce in truth 

The fevers are of youth, 

And languors waste the body whose appetites, 
Dainty and haughty, settle on delights 

Alone. Princely and perverse ways ? Alas ! 

Let be awhile, forsooth, 
The perishable fevers of proud youth. 

Since I bought little love at a great price, 
Love shall enclose them like a garden of spice, 
And throb with all their pulses like sweet verse, 

And be their Ganymede, 

Raising them up indeed 
The heavenly Cup that turns mortality 
To godlike stuff. O trumpets, gorgeously 
Sound sennets for Life's golden challengers, 

When Love their Ganymede 
Lifts up his blood-red Cup of dreams indeed. 

Since I learned wisdom in an iron school, 
Strange horror shall not mar my beautiful 
Idealists, whose feet I shall prevent 

From all the secret snares, 

From all the obscure lairs 



100 THE JOY OF HER CHILDREN 

Of libbard kind. For not by broken hearts 
Must they be truth's diviners, but by arts 
Of sympathy, and pity's sacrament. 

Vain ! Vain ! In those dim lairs 
What desperate agonies must yet be theirs ! 

"What I can do no more, no more I say : 
"With hopeless hope to some sad God I pray. 
Since graves I dug for passion and for pride 
In this long pilgrimage, 
Bright youth to ashen age, 
Be merciful to those dear blazoned folk, 
Nor bow such crested heads beneath the yoke 
Of disillusion. Freely let them ride, 
Though the Grey Howff called Age 
Greet not the pilgrims of this pilgrimage. 



THE SUNSET OF DESPAIR 

I saw the sunset fade to-night, 
A dropping fleece of scarlet light 

Upon a pale-green sky ; 
And all the passion of my youth, 
And all God's beauty and His truth 

Did in that sunset die. 



101 



DEATH'S SERENADE TO YOUTH 

Thy torches and thine archer-guard 
They ring thee round in vain : 

In vain thine oaken doors are barred 
And iron-flowered amain. 

Lay down, lay down thy painted lute 
Since all thy songs are done. 

Now must thou hear a harsher bruit 
For all my songs are one. 

O fair, O frail, the red rose hides 
Gem-caught behind thine ear ; 

Thy heavy curls are like a bride's, 
But I come near, come near. 

Turn from thy lover, smiling slow, 

To hearken me, albeit 
Mine is a voice thou canst not know, 

For it is nothing sweet. 

Think'st thou thy red and white to be 

Rare rose-immortal stuff, 
A cup for God's best wine ? But He 

Hath used it long enough. 

102 



DEATH'S SERENADE TO YOUTH 103 

He casts it me to break, undo. 

Thine hair shall thatch a grave : 
Thine eyes are mine to ruin through. 

Love, Love ? He cannot save. 

His head is bowed between his wings, 

A horror of the tombs 
He hath, of all unlovelike things. 

Behold his sumptuous plumes ! 

Their orbed gold and bright email, 

Auroras blue and green, 
Are as a milkwhite peacock's pale, 

For he my thrall hath been 
Since, of his Eden, subtle Sin 
Set wide the gates, and I came in. 



THE LIFE-TREE 

Beauty hangs crucified 

Upon the great Life-tree. 

The thorns are woven round the gracious head 
The Very Blood that makes the roses red 
Is falling from the hands and feet and side, 

Is falling down on thee. 
Beauty hangs crucified 
Upon the great Life-tree. 



104 



THE STIGMATA 

So are the loveliest things the mournfullest. 

They take no rest, no rest 
From gazing on the Passion of their Lord, 

Till, on their souls impressed, 
They bear the Five great Wounds they have adored. 



105 



THE WANDERING DANCER 

I am a wandering dreamer 

"With wings upon my feet ; 
And even as a comb of honey 

My secret soul is sweet. 

(Is not the perfume sweet ?) 

Before great "Winds of Sorrow 
I dance thro' burning hours ; 

But the dreams to my soul are homing 

"With souls of a thousand flowers. 

(The souls of virgin flowers !) 

My tired fantastic body 

Is wrought of flame and sleep, 
Not pure and cold as a vase is 

My sweet sweet soul to keep. 

(My dream-drenched soul to keep.) 

I will bring my soul to an altar, 

To God I will offer it up, 
To be the food of the angels 

In a ruby-dropping Cup. 
(A fair vine-jewelled Cup.) 

106 



THE WANDERING DANCER 107 

The blue and the scarlet angels 

With hair in great gold strands, 
That are throned in their pleasure-arbours 

With viols and lutes in their hands, 
(Or dulcimers under their hands) 

The splendid ivory angels 

Will bend o'er the vine-wreathed bowl, 
With long white dainty fingers 

Will break and eat my soul 
(O mystical Feast of my Soul !) 

Before great Winds of Sorrow 

Let me go dancing by. 
Without the honey-dreamers, 

The Angels of God would die. 
(Angels and gods would die.) 



NOR GOOD NOR EVIL" 



Nor good nor evil reigns in beauty's heart, 

But that wine-burning trouble bred from both : 
Nor is there any alchemy to part 

Those elements the brooding gods betroth. 
For from these deathless bridal inveteracies 

The passionate pattern of the world is wrought : 
And so their shy enraptured broideries 

The springtide branches to the Earth have 

brought : 
And so the mounting waves and tides are born 

In volutes wrought of amethyst and pearl : 
And so the gods of sunset and of morn 

Their scarlet and green-burning wings unfurl : 
Therefore the hills in yearning contours rise, 
The proud stars move like masquers thro' the skies. 



108 



"NOR GOOD NOR EVIL" 109 



II 

Shall Good prevail ? O Dreamer, it may be 

The Evil is immortal as the Good. 
From this dim coil of married ecstasy 

Springs flaming, fading, every splendid Mood. 
And only the Hidden "Wisdom can divine 

How the white-poppy paths of drowsy rest 
To pits of dark oblivion might decline ; 

Or in what lairs of sloth the wounded breast 
Of the Bright God might from his Passion cease, 

Should the Dark Agonist for ever pass. 
"When the tired body ends in perfect peace 

"What deathly lapse from beauty then, alas ! 
So might thy strange twy-natured spirit find 
Corruption, should the burning snake unwind. 



A MEDLEY OF KINGS 

King Richard loved victorious things : 

King Richard garnered them ; 
But never the crown of the ransomed town 

Of fair Jerusalem. 

(His tears ran down for the hapless town 
Of wronged Jerusalem.) 

King Philip was the garlander 

Of pleasure's flowering closes : 
But he tired at eve when the green skies grieve, 

His feet in the ruined roses. 
(Sorrow at eve when the green skies grieve 

Above the ravished roses /) 

The Emperor kept his holy throne, 

More sad than captives be, 
For his soul was afar with the olden war 

In tameless Italy. 

(Dying afar 'mid the wild strange war 
In delicate Italy f ) 

King Rene lived in a gilded house 

All broidered like the Spring : 
From morn till night he took delight, 

Versing and violing. 

(Till the hush of night he took delight 
Versing and violing.) 

110 



A MEDLEY OF KINGS 111 

In some dim dusk the splendid Three 

Have hid their sombre eyes. 
But Rene awoke in his turquoise cloke 

'Mid singing Paradise. 
(In his daisied cloke 'mid the angel-folk 

And the harpers of Paradise !) 



THE END 

"When lilies frail 
Through the sad sea-green vespertide prevail, 

"When the dews come, 

"When all the golden flutes of day are dumb, 
"When still the young stars tremble, and are pale,- 

Then Pleasure tires, 
Amazed at his own dreams and desires, 

Then delicate 

Is Love like very Death, then even Hate 
Forgets at last his heart's red-sunken fires : 

Then, mourning low, 
The beautiful strange Passions leave thee : " So 

There is no prey 

For heavenly hunters in this dusty way. 
Farewell, spent Soul that wearied long ago ! " 



112 



HOLLYHOCKS 

The hollyhocks, the hollyhocks 

Grew up like magic towers. 
"WTiite Love among the hollyhocks 

"Went fluting thro' the flowers. 

A town of towers the hollyhocks 

Sprang up the golden air, 
And Love, white Love with gilded locks* 

"Was Music's fountain there. 

And some were towers of ivory 
Wherein his dreams could bide, 

And some were towers of porphyry 
That his desires might hide. 

The black rains gathered in the East 
And stormed upon the flowers. 

Oh ! Dead lay Love, long ere they ceased, 
Among the ruined towers. 

Yet things of beauty's temper must 

Not perish mortally. 
Their shapes are beaten in the dust : 

They, having been, shall be. 

113 



114 HOLLYHOCKS 

Love and his town of hollyhocks 
Live on in God's delight. 

But, ah ! the rose-red hollyhocks 
Are white among the white. 



THE YOUNG MARTYRS 

They wore their wounds like roses 

"Who died at morningtide. 
From Youth's enchanted closes, 
From loves that did adore them, 
"With perfumes broken o'er them, 
As bridegroom goes to bride, 
They rode the Flaming Ride. 
They wore their wounds like roses 
"Who in their morning died. 



115 



MIDNIGHT 

Strange powers unused like poison burn in me : 

Cruel quicksilver thro' my veins they creep. 
^OCTiat hour will bring mine infelicity 

Some drowsy cup from the mild founts of sleep ? 
Tired sieges of high castles never taken, 

Desires like great king-falcons never cast, 
Beautiful quests all wearily forsaken, 

Figure the fiery arras of the Past. 
The pale Dreams walk on the horizons grey ; 

Like stars they tread the dawn with flaming feet : 
Their eyes for evermore are turned away. 

I heard their silver trumpets once entreat : 
Low sighed the caitiff Voice : " They sound in vain. 
Let them go by. It is not worth the Pain." 



116 



RECALLED 

The Sleep that lies within my breast 

Like a pomegranate seed 
Hath stirred within the sheaths to-day, 

And put forth wings indeed. 
(" lids like white poppy-leaves ! " This is why, 
I would sleep, I would sleep, though it were to die.) 

The Sleep the Veiled "Woman spins 

Upon the wheel of Time 
Hath woven marriage-veils for me 

More soft and rich than rime. 

(" long white hands, are ye slow in embraces ? " 
In the dim blue dusk how strange are your faces.) 

And I imagine lovely Sleep 

Like some great marble well, 
"Where naked rose-crowned souls go down 

Singing, at vesperbell. 

(" Let the citharist come : be the spices unsealed ! " 
In the laver of Sleep I shall float and be healed.) 

A dream from that immortal Sleep 

Am I, and wandering through 
Passes of love and hate have spoiled 

And strayed as dreams will do. 
(" Lift, heavy white lids, while the Dance goes by ! " 
I would sleep, I would sleep, though it were to die.) 

117 



118 RECALLED 

But Sleep, inviolable dusk 

Of sapphire, now resumes 
Her wandering dream, and richer is 

For some sad strange perfumes. 
(" long white hands, are ye tired of embraces f " 
In the blue blue shadows, how pale are your faces.) 

O marriage- veils of amethyst, 
O flower-strewn marble well, 

twilight glistering with dews, 
O tender passing-bell ! 

("All the fountains of beauty for you are un- 
sealed." 

1 am faint with my wounds, I am fain to be healed.) 



THE DEAD HEART 

The Handmaiden : 

Come in, come in, dark Merchantman, 

Bringing your wares, and if you can 

Please the sick heart in our lady's breast 

"With glistering spoil of the East or "West, 

Much gold shall be yours, dark Merchantman. 

Follow me, follow me softly thro' 

These winding ways to the turkis-blue 

And emerald court. On the great Divan 

Hid in her brazen hair she lies, 

"Watching the water with wide grey eyes. 

Merchantman : 

Pierced perfume-balls and incense-burners these, 

"Wrought by the lotos-people of the East ; 
Flaskets of odours from the roseries 

"Wherein the Persian love-god keeps his feast ! 

Love you my rich devices ? 
Lady : 

Nay ! Nay ! I hate sweet spices. 
They stir the darkness of my heart like guilt, 
Finding strange altars there I never built. 

119 



120 THE DEAD HEART 

M. This hanging mosque-lamp, broidered with 

blood-red 

And sapphire, ravished by a perilous 

Adventure, might illume your garlanded 

White chamber, like seraphic Sirius. 

' Tis a triumphal jewel. 
L. Nay ! Nay ! For Light is cruel. 
White flame or rainbow flame, all's one to me 
"Who loathe the world they brighten equally. 



M . This delicate store of dark Etruscan kings 
Kindled a stone death-chamber. Oh ! behold 

Frail necklet-chains dropping sweet subtle things, 
Victories, vaselets, flowers of beaten gold. 
It is a magian treasure. 

L. Nay, then. Give me a measure 

Of such black slumber as those dead goldsmiths keep, 

Thickened with centuries, no dream-thin sleep. 



M. Jewels of price, blue-beryl, amethyst, 

Sardonyx, grey and green chalcedony, 
Graven with Graces, Muses, Loves, or whist 
Lyreplayers , gods of rapture and reverie 

Sunk in translunar trances. 
L. Peace, peace ! For now the chances 
Of Beauty's folk, Joy and those gauds of hers, 
Are less than the rimes of some old cradle-verse. 



THE DEAD HEART 121 

M. This glowing Cup where martyrs evermore, 
"White in their robes of azure and vermeil, 

Imparadised in burning gold adore 

The Passion and "Wisdom Pain's pure hands unveil, 
Shall bring you "Wine of Healing. 

L. Nay ! For mine unrevealing 

And unrevealed misery no Vine 

Of Sacrifice hath bled, oh ! not for mine. 



M. Look ! In a sphere of solemn crystal, faint 

Like music, sacred visions rise milkwhite. 
So with serene strange dreams thy soul acquaint : 
Dolour should burn it clear and exquisite, 

An orb where heavenly shapes are. 
L. Hence ! For as wrung grapes are 
Thy carven toys. Shall I whose breast is thrust 
"With seven swords, take pleasure in thy dust ? 



M. Within the disks of these my passion-flowers 

Unperishing, their spirits flaming sit, 
Archers of beauty that from jewelled bowers 
Send arrowy sweetness thro' the wistful wit 
Of their diviner, Sorrow. 
Thine eyes did never borrow 
Sad splendour from the eyes of the Seven Lords 
Of the Seven Stars, that bear the Seven Swords. 



122 THE DEAD HEART 

For thy doomed soul is empty of desire : 

Nor the lost Angel of an ardent sin 
Leadeth her wild feet thro' the rains of fire 
Until the ascent of Beauty's Mount begin. 
But some cold lust lies sleeping 
Around thine heart ; some creeping 
Satiety forbids like serried ice 
The sieges of colour, music, dreaming spice. 

L. Then work a miracle, O merchant-god, 
For I am weary, weary of the cold ! 

And hast thou magic in that ivory rod 

Twisted about with strange symbolic gold ? 

M. Yea ! From this deadly hollow, 
Thy life, come follow, follow 

Down to the realms of pity and of pain. 

In agony thou shalt be born again. 



HYPNOSIS 

/. The Physician of Souls 

Soft webs of sleep I weave over and round you, 
Ye troubled and bewildered and downcast, 

In a clear coil of quiet I have wound you, 
In crystal trances have I locked you fast : 
For here is sanctuary now at last. 

Poor hunted souls of sin and pain and pride, 

Forget the questing hounds that wait outside. 

I have wrung power from those narcotic spices 
That rise amid life's dark Gethsemanes : 

And I have made obscure strange sacrifices, 
Turning to pities all mine agonies, 
Healing mine own pang in your maladies. 

Bearing your diverse burthens on my breast 

I feel no more my heart, the heaviest. 

Round your tired brows divine compassion closes 
Under my tranquil hands. Children of rue, 

I will restore again your ruined roses 
"With dim rich processes as of the dew. 
The evil knots of sorrow I undo. 

All secret shameful wrongs I search and try 

"With kind insistent eyes that purify. 

123 



124 HYPNOSIS 

No hard disdain have I, no smiting anger, 
Sad playthings of the cruel unknown God, 

"Who made alike your limbs of flame and languor 
And the bright dreadful Passions that have trod 
Your souls, and kneaded to a burning clod 

Your bodies. Peace, poor lepers all would shun, 

Shield-losers in a battle but begun ! 

I see the various torments, the keen crises, 

The incontrollable throes that craze the brain : 

My subtle trance the dying soul surprises 
In her great plexus and nerve-plot of pain. 
Ah ! wounds that come in fighting, ah ! the vain 

Breaking of hearts in racing, ah ! the torn 

Breasts that endure, O Love, that scourge of thorn ! 

Lutelike desire to dreamy women calling, 
Mania hurling men to red despairs, 

Empoisoned arrows thro' the dusk air falling 
Upon the noblest, lily-covered snares 
Hid where the loveliest walk unawares, 

Base lures that take the falcon of the will, 

I know with the pardoning knowledge of good and 
ill. 

But hush now ! It shall come to pass in sleeping 
That Pity shall achieve sweet miracles, 

This wild investiture of anguish steeping 

In some pure peace beyond the heavens and hells, 
"Where only the infinite soul of mercy dwells. 

Be sealed, ye suffering eyes, that ye may wake 

"With quiet lids the fevers must forsake. 



HYPNOSIS 125 

Upon your perverse rapture of illusion 
I lay my will, mournful, serene and wise. 

Lo ! it is over now, the long confusion ! 
Accept the yoke of Destiny. Arise 
As patient pilgrims under iron skies. 

Let the proud Cup of Sacrifice assuage 

The torment of youth, the weariness of age. 



II. The Trance, (From Within} 

Here is the Truce of God. The limed Soul is taken 
From out the Fowler's craft : her broken wings 

lie still. 

Dear mystery of Peace ! Let me not ever waken 
"Within the hopeless coils of ravelled good and ill. 
(No more of good and ill ! Let broken wings lie 
still /) 

Under my lids no more the unshed tears are burn- 
ing ; 
The trumpets and the viols fade from the verges 

blue ; 

"While delicately lie my weary hands unlearning 
The unholy piteous things poor slaves like these 

must do. 
(Ah ! hated things to do beyond the verges blue /) 



126 HYPNOSIS 

The tender Miracle hath sealed and separated 
The five fantastic senses from their subtle sins. 

I lapse away from all vanities loved and hated, 
Where Time is a dead moon, and ecstasy begins. 
(God's hidden love begins behind the sense and 
sins.) 

Like lotos dreams the soul, lulled in her resignations : 

The trance flickers with fire : it is a cloudy glass 

"Where triumphing Desires and veiled Renunciations, 

Great masques of wings and flames, of gods and 

angels pass. 

(Hallowed and heathen pass within the darkened 
glass.) 

Deep in my wounded breast is born some passionate 

patience 
As honey dew in flowers : some power above me 

saith : 

" Let the Desires go by. Those veiled Renunciations 
Follow." The voice is sweet, but strong as very 

death. 

(" Even so," the still heart saith, " since thou art 
strong as death.") 

Here is the Truce of God. Let me not ever waken 
"Within His mortal toils of ravelled good and ill. 

Let me not find again the pangs of His forsaken, 
For half I comprehend the sweetness of His will. 

(0 sweet and bitter Will ! ravelled good and ill /) 



A VISION FROM PERGOLESI 

A chamber-wall, builded of ivory, 

I saw, and one white urn 

Whence there sprang triumphing a red rose-tree. 

Like very love did the dark petals burn, 

"While a maid-angel stood with mournful eyes, 

Pale from her Paradise : 

" These roses must I pluck to strew the way 

Of one that leaves the world for God this day ". 

Then to my patient soul 

A strait pure music, wearing some delicate veil, 

By the more secret ways of hearing stole, 

A music like roses, young 

Red and white roses, in sad garlands hung 

Upon eternal ivory. " Angel pale, 

The Rose-tree of the world must bleed this day 

To make more beautiful her heavenly "Way." 



127 



THE DEAD ACOLYTE 

Let the spice-bowls richly fume 
Through the amber morning, 

His fair Progress to the tomb 
Splendidly adorning. 

Nothing now can violate 

Soul and body dedicate. 

Lover of white Artemis, 

"White he lay a-dying. 
Never through the Mysteries 

Did the doves' low crying 
Lure him. Chaste and dreamlike he 
As his fine grave-lekythi. 

O ye pure boy-acolytes 

With great eyes of sorrow, 

Pity not his moon-charmed nights ; 
"Weep your own wild morrow ; 

"Weep your beauty Love shall tame, 

Carding it on looms of flame. 

Let the kindled spices fume 
Through the amber morning : 

Vases bring, his garden-tomb 
"With sweet shapes adorning. 

He hath peace, for whom ye wear 

Mournful garlands on your hair. 

128 



" WHEN TOO TOO SOON " 

When too too soon the haughty star of Youth, 

While heavenly passion-music mourns, at last 
Declining from his soaring azimuth, 

Heirs the sad zones where perished lights are 

cast ; 
When the great purple iris 'neath my lids 

Is faded ; when, grown deaf and dumb and blind, 
The Soul that companied with Pierids 

Stumbles thro' pain some hiding-place to find ; 
Your love-charmed eyes will see her then as now,, 

Daring and delicate and blithe as fire, 
Wreathed with sweet beauty like a white may- 
bough, 

Upcasting to the sun her ivory lyre ! 
Alas f Alas! Who then can lead the blind 
Lost penitent her hiding-place to find ? 



K 129 



THE UNKNOWN SWORD-MAKER 

Upon the anvil of mine heart 
His merciless mysterious art 

Forged me the sword of will. 
He damascened with curious wit 
And in my tears he tempered it ; 

' Tis mine for good or ill. 
Out of blind longing was it wrought, 
Obscure intensities of thought, 

And wild imaginings, 
Desperate impulses to gain 
Impossible goals, and great disdain 

For baffled abject things. 
Indeed I know not whence it came, 
Excalibur of pride and shame 

That smites mine own breast through 
As often as mine enemies ', 
Yet hath dominion over these, 

And shall unvanquished hew, 
"WTiile I draw agonising breath, 
Some honourable way to death. 



130 



SPOIL 

I have stolen from thee sweet spoil. 
Like great bright heavy bees, 

My two eyes clang to thee : 
Seeking for ecstasies, 

My sad soul sprang to thee. 
With strange felicities 

Laden they come. But wilt thou not assoil ? 
Art thou less rich for mine ethereal spoil ? 



131 



DIADUMENOS 

The Diadumenos with dreaming face 

His delicate head bows down. 
Wistful and wondering, the white boy-grace 
Lifts up his hands to crown 
His hyacinthine hair 
With fillets fair. 

" I crown myself, I crown myself so young, 

For young must I go hence. 
The dedication-song is over-sung 
That brings mine innocence 
To my strange Lover, Death, 
My Lover, Death." 



132 



THE BODILY BEAUTY OF THE BELOVED 

Like to some dreaming Rapture, 'mid the clangour 

Of all the cymbal-choir of Cybele 
Still standing clothed in great white veils of languor, 

Strange Powers, O my Beloved, fashioned thee. 
For thou as flame art radiant and prevailing, 

Though trancelike as the petals of white flowers, 
And subtly weary like a wave in failing. 

Most strange, O my Beloved, are those Powers 
That thro' rich rings of amethyst allured 

The spirits of thine eyes, the glistering 
Spirals of thy mysterious hair repured, 

And wrought thine hands and feet 'mid violing. 
O hands and feet, so tender and so tired, 
Hapless and white, desiring and desired ! 



133 



ECSTASY 

O ye that look on Ecstasy 

The Dancer lone and white, 
Cover your charmed eyes, for she 

Is Death's own acolyte. 
She dances on the moonstone floors 
Against the jewelled peacock doors : 
The roses flame in her gold hair, 
The tired sad lids are overfair. 
All ye that look on Ecstasy 

The Dancer lone and white, 
Cover your dreaming eyes, lest she 
(Oh! softly, strangely ! ) float you through 
These doors all bronze and green and blue 

Into the Bourg of Night. 



134 



TO THE LOST LOVER 

"With fanciful strange Sorrow, I sat me down to sup, 
Taking from her long hands the scarlet agate cup ; 
And Sleep, the beautiful boy, came up to kiss me 

there, 
Great garlands of red roses wrought round his calm 

curled hair. 

Ah ! let me dwell for ever within their lapis-blue 
And emerald House of Viols, for still they speak of 

you. 



135 



THE APPEAL OF THE LORD JOYEUSE 

The young Joyeuse rode thro' the town 

Upon a silver steed. 
Green as the spring was his long gown, 

And like a rare bindweed 
Great purple jewels and white pearls 
Clung round his breast and bright love-curls. 

His eyes were wells, and starlike there 

Slept dreams of antique joy, 
Of Babylon and sweet Beaucaire, 

Of Sestos and of Troy. 
Of rimes his honey mouth was full, 
His heart of morning music cool. 

The carven Town beneath the Wood 

Was richer than may-dews 
When at his gates the Black Prior stood, 

And cursed the Lord Joyeuse : 
" Yea ! Like the Morning Star that fell, 
Shalt thou go burning into Hell. 

" Thou lurest souls like thurifers 

From altars veiled and lit ; 
Thy dancers and thy fluteplayers, 

They bring thee to the Pit." 
His reins the Lord Joyeuse let fall, 
And cried to God before them all. 

136 



THE APPEAL OF THE LORD JOYEUSE 137 

And cast his hands into the sky, 

" O Thou that lovedst well 
The scarlet lilies, what am I 

"Whom he would thrust in hell ? 
Judge, O thou Dreamer of the East, 
Lord of the Heavenly Wedding Feast ! 

" There passed by hills and garden-glades 

Music of miracles ; 
The masquing children, pale bridemaids, 

Broidered Thy parables ; 
Fair souls like sumptuous flowers were best 
Beloved, and lay upon Thy breast. 

" Spicebearers to Thy cradle came, 

Spicebearers to Thy tomb ; 
Thine hands the red Love-cup like flame 

Gave in the Upper Room ; 
And round Thy brows didst Thou entwine 
Great symbols of the Rose and Vine. 

" Thou, Thou hast made Joyeuse, and these 

Lovers of earthly grace, 
Thine avenue of almond-trees, 

Thy flowering pleasure-place, 
Thine orchard that, when Spring is tired, 
Shall bear its Lord the fruit desired." 



THE GOLDEN EARL AND THE WISE- 
WOMAN 

" The Golden Earl, he must not ride 

By the "Weary Sands to-day. 
Like silver hawks bright flashes glide 

Across the heavens grey. 

" 'Tis Hallowtide. He must not ride 

By the Weary Sands to-day." 
" Oh ! I shall ride this Hallowtide 

Though God's own Falcon prey. 

" Death-hawk or dove may fly above, 

But I have a need of rest, 
And I ride to the House of my father's love, 

To the towers where sleep is best." 

" Ride not, ride not, Golden Earl, 

For when you play at the Ring 
In gay gilt armour, wreath of pearl, 

The red-clad harpers sing. 

" Like birds they sing ; and the tired old King 

Takes pleasure verily : 
The Golden Earl must his beauty bring, 

Must his Cupbearer be." 

138 



THE GOLDEN EARL AND THE WISE WOMAN 139 

" I will not ride the Ring, bear forth 

The Cup for the musing Sage : 
Of music and mirth and the Pride of Earth 

My youth is as tired as his age." 

" Among the white white apple-trees 

Like fountains, goes the fair 
Young Queen in her purple broideries. 

"Will you not linger there ? 

" O Spoiler of Love's orchards, why 
Will you ride by the "Weary Sands 

"While the death-hawks fly in the sullen sky, 
Away from her flowery hands ? " 

" I dreamed of Love but yester-night 
"With wounds on the hands and feet. 

So the Queen may laugh in her orchard white 
Or weep in her sandal seat." 

" O Golden Earl my soul would save, 

When dawn was on the sea 
There ran like a wave to the jasper grave 

A wraith that might watch for thee. 

" For the "Weary Sands they welcomed her, 

And the sea that covereth, 
When she knew thy loving-mercies were 

More terrible than death." 



140 THE GOLDEN EARL AND THE WISEWOMAN 

" To the Weary Sands as to Paradise 

I ride this day. Farewell ! 
Since I would seek her ghostly eyes 

Beyond the yetts of Hell. 

" Margaret, Margaret, I ride fast 

To the tryst of my long desire. 
"Where I kiss the wounded hands at last 

Is Heaven though it ring with fire." 



BLOSSOM TIME 

The snow-white lilac on the lawn 

Is rich as great swan-plumes ; 
The chestnut, all rose-candles, like 

A marriage-altar blooms. 
And white may-tree to red may-tree 

Sings passionate replies 
As bridesmen and bridemaidens do 

Across Love's pure parvise. 
Laburnum's yearning branches drip 

Faint music like your soul ; 
Virginal violet-spices float 

From Spring's engraven bowl. 
The sacred frenzy of the god, 

O Sweet, do not deny, 
Lest suffering strange and cold befall 

"When He has passed you by. 



141 



A TRIUMPH-SONG 

Sing, O ye flutes. Cast the roses, ye maidens ! 
Spread the blue canopies castled with bells 
At their four silver spires. Ah ! the ecstasy wells 
And leaps Time's last verge in a solemn smooth 

cadence. 

Like the fair folk of old 
That were married with beauty and chambered in 

gold 

Ere they passed out to die 
On Spring's altar, so I, 
Beneath my blue canopy castled with bells, 
Dream-fast as the Bride of the Canticles, 
My triumph bring thro' the sumptuous hours, 
This passionate path of pomegranate-flowers, 
Till the twilight come, 
And the flutes are dumb 
Before the hill which is Calvary. 

(The Music and I, diviners we !) 
For the "Way of Joy is the "Way of Loss : 
Like a lover it runs to the Darkest Cross. 



142 



RESTRAINT 

Rise up early from the Feast : 

Lift thine hand, and come away 
Ere the violins have ceased, 

Ere the cruel Dawn be grey, 
Reveller with roses crowned ! 

Ah ! the sad satieties 
When the grace-cup shall go round 

And they taste the bitter lees. 
Beauty slipt from them like snow, 

Winter sieging them without, 
As the lamps burn gross and low 

So their souls must flicker out. 
Rise up early from the Feast 

With a chaste and radiant will, 
Ere the violins have ceased, 

Loving roses, music still. 
Mount the moonwhite steed and ride 

While thine heart is hot in thee ; 
With thine ivory horn besi4e, 

Ride for Immortality. 
Sound the blast, and win the Town, 
Let the walls of Death fall down. 



143 



THE UNICORNS 

In lands like faded arras-broideries 

Where dead green skies are veiled with golden trees, 

With golden trees, from whose frail branches young 

Star-tangled jasmine in great ropes is hung, 

There, while the morning star is fluting low, 

The amazing silver Unicorns must go 

Until the naked souls of maidens, white, 

Wondrous and sad, come thro' the chrysolite, 

Parting the golden boughs, the jasmine veil, 

To garland the Unicorns with roses pale, 

And ride them down the glades of smouldering gold, 

Ride, till the unearthly dews like sevenfold 

Fountains flash over them ; for soon they hear 

The far hallali, for he thunders near, 

Love, Love, the dreadful Hunter, and he tires 

The splendid Unicorns, the untamed Desires 

For some impossible peace where quietly 

Strange Psyche-magic of virginity 

Its unimagined flowers and fruits might bear 

At last, some castled Mirabel moon-fair 

With cloistered lilies, carven ivory things, 

Some gold and jasmine throne, closed in with wings, 

So in that wistful wood the wild souls fly, 
While on the strait white bed their bodies lie. 

144 



RISPETTO 

Radiant and restless as the daffodil 

Thou led'st the revels of the maytide bands. 

Now art thou as the temple-children still 
Who carry spikenard in their calm white 
hands. 

lady like mournful Latin litanies, 

1 know the incense of those reveries. 

So moves the beauty, veiled and quieted, 
That keeps the sacred kisses of the Dead. 



145 



DIRGE FOR NARCISSUS 

(Neo-Platonic) 

Sing sorrow for the body fair 

That faded like white flowers : 
Sing sorrow for the perished Soul 

That lost immortal hours. 
(The Soul that was more beautiful 
Lies drowned in pleasure's crystal pool.} 

Now close the lucid mournful lids 

Above the purple eyes. 
Carved like the dreamy bridal-god 

Weary Narcissus lies. 
(The Soul that was more beautiful 
Lies drowned in pleasure's crystal pool.) 

Twine violets round his heavy hair. 

Fair Fauns, about the spring 
In brazen bowls, oh ! sweetly burn 

The frank wood-spice ye bring. 

(The Soul that was more beautiful 
Lies drowned in pleasure's crystal pool.) 

146 



DIRGE FOR NARCISSUS 147 

Mysterious victors o'er him drave 
Their burning steeds. Alas ! 

The lilies of his beauty lay 

Charmed in the fountain's glass. 

(The Soul that was 'more beautiful 
Lies drowned in pleasure's crystal pool.} 

That beauty still shall linger here 

As frail and wistful flowers ; 
But perished is the drowsy Soul 

That lost immortal hours. 

(Sing sorrow for the beautiful 

Sad Soul that sank in pleasure's pool.) 



THE PHCENIX 

The wings of Heaven, flaming blue, 
Closed over rose-red Araby : 

The crystal trances of the air 

Leaguer ed the lonely flagrant Tree, 

When from the mystery of myrrhs, 
The soft enraptured incense-flame, 

From the death-dreaming Nardus born, 
The beautiful bright Phosnix came. 

Above the dying spice he hung : 

Then those impassioned plumes of his 

Clave their inviolable way 
To holy Heliopolis. 



148 



THE FORECAST 

The red Damascus-roses are 

Not red enough for thee : 
Not strange enough the Love that flutes 

"Where virgin-lilies be. 
Unto the heavy apple-boughs 

Thou wilt not stretch thine hand, 
Dreaming the great triumphant vines 

Of some unearthly land. 
So far beyond Joy's azure zones 

A wild way thou must go, 
To pluck cold fruits of sleep and death 

In the orchards of the snow. 



149 



THE TREE OF LIFE 

Under the green skies of Eternity 

My soul from labyrinthine sleep strayed out ; 
And saw Life triumph like a flaming Tree. 

Rivers of radiant roots were coiled about 
Mysterious trancen gods, Adonis-shapes, 

The genii of the beautiful arts, supine 
In their rich cloisons, violet-blue as grapes. 

The fruits that burned upon the branches nine, 
Passional pomegranates, for ever beat 

Bright unison with those dreaming hearts below. 
On either side the Tree adored the sweet 

And terrible Cherubim, Love, Death, and, oh !' 
Te mighty blue-green wings all spined with gold, 
Be constant, though the emerald skies are cold ! 



150 



THE DRYAD 

Upon a lawn I lay 

One crystal autumn day 

Among the dead rose-smouldering leaves, and grew 
Idle and clear and rich of soul. Like dew 

Upon the lawn I lay : 

And watched a lonely tree, 

Rich as a reverie, 

That drenched the eye with magic, all unshed, 
Yet dyed to one great cloud of tender red, 

The Illusion of a tree. 

"Within the resting skies, 

Hushed like a Paradise, 

Sweet colours dwelt, pale gold and faint leaf-green, 
A stain of drowsy scarlet, oh ! serene 

And radiant skies. 

Throughout my quiet soul 

To Time's mysterious goal 
October like a golden river ran, 
And gleaming silts of lovely peace began 

To settle through my soul. 

151 



152 THE DRYAD 

Meseemed I rested on 

Great lawns of Avalon. 
Gazing upon the delicate dim-red tree, 
Softly subdued to pure felicity, 

I lay in Avalon. 


From out the brooding Tree 
A crimson shape shook free, 
And towards me floating like a leaf it strayed 
Behold, I murmured (yet I was afraid), 
The Dryad of the Tree ! 

But, ah ! What eyes at last 
Arraigned me with things past ! 
"Wounding to death, the Vision drifted by, 
And yet, and yet, what wrong to her did I 
Those autumn days long past ? 

Sweet, is it Thou, even Thou ? 

Then surely I know now 
That pardon is a dream of breaking hearts, 
That mere Eternity asunder parts 

Sin from atonement now. 

A fierce bale-fire to me 
Triumphed that blood-red Tree : 
And all October through my soul stormed on 
Like the strong tide of flaming Phlegethon, 
"Wasting and harrying me. 



THE MASQUE OF PROTEUS 

Hark through the azure veils ! For Orpheus plays 

Upon the star-strung Lyre, 
Luring the Masque of Matter through dim ways 

Of rhythmical desire. 
Gaze through the veils. The Pomp of Proteus dances, 

God, hero, satyr, ape, 
By flaming raptures, long amazed trances, 

Moving from shape to shape. 
Swift goblins of corruption, dubious powers 

Of sea and earth and air, 
Passionate wings and cast-up hands, faint flowers 

And flying hooves are there. 
In gracious and grotesque and mournful measures 

They triumph and they tire : 
Their yearning pains, their wild repentant pleasures 

Obey that secret Lyre. 



Behind the Veils the strange Musician dwells. 

Alone the Unchanging, He, 
"Whether He fold the sheep in twilight dells 

Of tender Arcady ; 
Or hunt on Thracian hills His sacrifice 

"With furious timbrelling ; 
Or steal through Easter morn like burial- spice, 

The dreaming garden's King. 

153 



THE HOUR OF CONFESSION 

The fires of day are dying. 

Through the blue embertide, the dew-drenched grass, 
Mysterious music-makers mourning pass. 
Sweet flowers wax yet more sweet, 
Like moths the frail stars beat. 
All seals dissolve in sighing. 

O Soul that would not sever 
Daylong from that proud armour all annealed 
With sphinxes and with sirens, be revealed 
Fair, desperate as thou art, 
A red wound o'er the heart, 
Lest we be lost for ever. 



154 



EMBALMED 

I saw the fair dead knights go by 
In the Cathedral close to lie, 

Covered with gold and red 
Velvet as red as hollyhocks, 
"With roses in their long bright locks, 

As if they were not dead, 
"Who in the House of Subtle Arts 
For splendid spice had changed their hearts, 
Their wounded hearts. Therefore although 
Like iris-flowers the jouvenceaux 
Ringed the King's daughter on her chair, 
And emeralds crowned her burning hair, 
Serenely passed the Dead Knights by 
'Mid the Cathedral close to lie. 
"Who in the House of Subtle Arts 
For splendid spices change their hearts 
Trouble no more. They do not care 
How the King's daughter crown her hair, 

Those delicate strange Dead, 
For whose charmed souls their Fate hath span 
Some endless dream Egyptian, 

Of Helen's lotus-head. 



155 



THE LUTEPLAYER 

Garlanded gracious folk there were 

Among the pointed cypresses 
That hearkened to a Luteplayer, 
A gilded boy from Heathenesse. 

(Like one that pours red wine sang he 
The strong sweet love of Arcady.) 

But, ah ! their souls were lonelier 

Amid the emerald twilight spaces. 
They listened to the Luteplayer 

With dreams and sorrow on their faces. 
(For they had learned in Christentie 
To love more bitterly than he.) 



156 



THE MAGI 

Male-incense, mighty myrrhs they gave, 

Shut in enamel and fine gold, 
Then o'er the porphyry sands returned 

To their gem-smouldering life of old. 

Their aumbry-doors of carven pearl 

More nards and splendours kept for them ; 

Their souls considered other gods 
Besides the Child of Bethlehem, 

In palaces of burning blue, 

Great halls of lapis-lazuli 
And roses, over peacock floors 

Those richly brooding years went by. 

And their dream-wisdom like a pall 

Of gold pavilioned all the slain 
"WTiite love-gods that for Spring have died, 

Have died for Spring to rise again. 

Fair Attis, lord of cymbals, bright 

Adonis, and the lotos-crowned 
Osiris, Bromios child of Flame, 

And Him whose cross with vines was wound. 

157 



158 THE MAGI 

Hail, mystic Passion of the God, 
That with the lilies or the grapes 

Exults and dies and lives again ! 

August and strange are all thy shapes. 



THE VISIONS 

I saw the saints of Judaea 

Go up to Gethsemane. 
Holy and white and wounded 

Like stained ivory 
They followed the Path of the Dolours 

Even to Calvary. 

I saw a beautiful chorus 

Come singing of victories, 
And, fair as a naked love-god, 

The dancing leader of these 
His virgin lyre upraising, 

The rose-crowned Sophocles. 

Down into dim-gold Egypt 

I saw great Hadrian go : 
Like a snowy tuberose burdened 

With swooning sweetness, so 
Passed Antinous the dreamer 

Of all the senses know. 

Through hushed embroidered cities 
I saw the grail-knights ride, 

As frail as flowers, yet burning 
"With the pangs of Passiontide, 

Of Love divinely musing, 
Of Love with pierced side. 

159 



160 THE VISIONS 

Ah ! Whom shall I follow, follow, 
Since all are dear to me, 

Slim Gothic knights, strange Romans, 
And the Chorus of victory, 

And the sorrowful saints of Judaea, 
"Wending to Calvary ? 



A HEAVENLY AMBITION 

I will play on a sweet cithara 

In the Pageant of the Lord. 
Light incense-wands for some white hands, 

Give some the Flaming Sword ! 
I will play on a sweet cithara 

In the Pageant of the Lord. 

Oh ! Some shall bear the banners fair 

"With blazonries all-gold : 
"Wide-burning wings and gilded things 

The trophy-lovers hold: 
Roses in spires the singing choirs 

Bring through the heavenly wold. 

The rhythm so sweet of dancers' feet 

Shall make the pageant gay : 
But I, the whist pale citharist, 

Unto my strings alway 
Faint opal dreams, love's rare extremes, 

"With dulcet heart must say. 

Through moonlike doors, o'er crystal floors, 

The Masques of Angels pass : 
In the pause between the red and green, 

Clothed in bright taffetas, 
I will play on a sweet cithara 

O'er burnished gold and glass. 

M 161 



THE APPEAL TO THE ARTIST 

[To Professor Patrick Geddes.] 

I 

O ye that walk in secret places 

Adoring Beauty, who is God, 
Turn, turn your pale enchanted faces, 

Uplift the burning incense-rod. 
Down in the darkness of the Valley 

The pack is out of pains and sins ; 
Hearken the furious hallali, 

For now the Hunt of Death begins. 
O ye that up in sun-veiled spaces 

The "Wounds of Ecstasy endure, 
"With Muses, Loves and heavenly Graces 

Come down and pass among the Poor. 
These are your kindred, and these only. 

Before the blue-winged Mercy-Seat 
They bring as ye bring (and these only) 

The pierced hands, the pierced feet. 

II 

All the long day upon the "Wheel of Labour 

Their bones are ground, 
That with the flute, the timbrel and the tabor 

Your dreams may sound. 
162 



THE APPEAL TO THE ARTIST 163 

Their limbs the clinging Curse of Adam harries 

That yours be free. 

Bright souls, regard their souls the death-sleep 
marries. 

Yea, verily 
Upon the Body's sullen rood the Spirit 

Drinks myrrh, and dies : 
These cannot see the Earth that they inherit 

"With such tired eyes. 
A little bread to eat, a little raiment, 

A hiding-place ; 

This the "World's ransom, this the princely pay- 
ment ! 

O grey disgrace 
Of days all emptied of the masques and roses ! 

A dream of fire 
They buy, the dream that suddenly discloses 

Gates of desire, 

The dream that brings the soul, a Power, a 
Splendour, 

To some great Feast 
One moment ere she make the black surrender, 

"Wake like a beast. 
Ah ! lead them in some simple sweet translation 

Out of this Night. 
For Life begins with beauty, adoration, 

"Wonder, delight. 



164 THE APPEAL TO THE ARTIST 

III 

To the help of the other Toilers, the drugged and 

the broken of heart, 
Come, O ye kindred in love, ye beautiful Children 

of Art. 
Mitred and girdled with rubies like dreaming 

Chaldaean Kings, 

Bearing delectable spoil of exquisite useless things, 
Even as the Magians brought to the stable of 

Bethlehem 
The rosy and emerald crowns, fair palace-flowers 

for them, 

Their delicate wasteful odours cloistered in ivory, 
Bring ye again your rarest to our Lady of Poverty. 
Mitred and girdled with rubies like solemn Chal- 
daean Kings, 
Bring music and verses and spices and carven and 

painted things. 

IV 

Cities like sunsets and sunrises, 

Poets must build you burningly. 
O river-broidered Paradises, 

Great lovers must your freemen be. 
Sing gardens, delicately, slowly, 

Stepping to find the lilied lakes, 
Sing iris, amaranth and moly, 

Hid where the nightingale awakes, 



THE APPEAL TO THE ARTIST 165 

Sing the vast squares, tall-towered, arcaded, 

"Where the rejoicing fountains glow, 
Sing colours, sculptures, pomps unfaded, 

"Where Life and Death augustly go, 
"Where, through rich ways like wrought romances, 

Wreathed Hymen with antiphonies, 
High Hera, Hermes, lord of trances, 

Lead to their diverse ecstasies 
Faint lovely souls. Sing gracious mummers 

For rainbow masques and miracles 
Of Springs and Autumns and Midsummers, 

Thrilled through with viols, flutes and bells, 
The Passion-play yearlong prevailing 

That hails the Easter, mourns the dead, 
The great High Mass that lifts unfailing 

The sad mysterious "Wine and Bread. 

V 
Cast not, like alms, of Beauty's worst 

Before the joyless folk. 
Do as the saintly rider durst 

Who cleft his knightly cloak 
All glorious. Gemmy flowers and gold 
"Wrapt his bedesbrother from the cold. 

O Dreamers, breathe upon their eyes 

That they may see again ; 
And breathe as Love in loving sighs, 

Lest all the prayers be vain. 
Though time and faith be faded, still 
Love works his own miraculous will. 



166 THE APPEAL TO THE ARTIST 

Pity, forgive, if ye will save. 

Forgive and pity long. 
Souls born and bred within the Cave 

Must do the sun-god wrong, 
Dreading his chariot, fain to flee 
The pangs of his bright archery. 

The lucid wells they shall defile, 
(But keep the fountains pure) ; 

And rend the vines and roses while 
Ye labour. Yet endure, 

And plant again the fragrant closes. 

Their children's children shall love roses. 

In gilded graven mazers bring 

The crystal pool of Joy. 
And if they spill the splendid spring, 

The cunning cups destroy, 
In great peach-blossom bowls once more 
Bring rapture to the Darksome Door. 

VI 

Go up to the Hills of God, 

Go up, go up together, 

Through the new Golden Weather, 
Toiler that bearest the hod, 
Toiler that bearest spices 

In ivory slumbering, 

Like a dreamy Magian King. 



THE APPEAL TO THE ARTIST 167 

Go up with your sacrifices. 

Fair in the eyes of God, 

Rich thurible, patient hod. 
Peace to you, brother and brother, 
Ye have need of one another. 



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